Perth man facing death penalty goes on trial

Perth man facing death penalty goes on trial

Perth man facing death penalty goes on trial

Updated 4 December 2012, 0:51 AEDT

The trial of an Australian man who is facing the death penalty for alleged drug trafficking has begun in Malaysia.

Dominic Jude Bird walked into court on Monday, unshackled at the ankles but handcuffed.

He chatted at length with his father Clayton Bird and sister Debbie during an adjournment, smiling and appearing to be in good health and spirits.

The 32-year-old from Perth was arrested in March after an undercover police sting in Kuala Lumpur.

He is accused of selling 167 grams of methamphetamine to police, which will attract a mandatory death penalty if he is convicted.

The prosecution has so far called police witnesses, who have responded to questions about the collection and storage of evidence that was seized during and after the bust.

A chemist who was responsible for testing the drugs also testified.

During cross-examination, lawyers for Bird questioned the chemical testing, asking whether the required minimum of 10 per cent was subject to examination.

The chemist answered that only 0.07 per cent was tested, but it was a representative sample.

Defence lawyer Muhammed Shafee says he expects the charges to be dropped due to the method of testing.

"Both the quality as well as the quantity - the method of analysis is flawed," he said outside of court.

"So if that is flawed, I think if a judge considers it properly the whole charge should fall."

The trial is set for the next five days, and Bird is expected to plead not guilty.