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Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 12:48 UK

Malaysian man faces prison term and cane for drinking

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A Malaysian man has been sentenced to a year in jail and six strokes of the cane for drinking alcohol in public.

Mohamad Sabri Zulkepli, 24, pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol at a shopping mall in February.

Mr Zulkepli had asked to pay a fine and be given fewer lashes. He plans to appeal against his sentence, officials say.

Correspondents say the case is the latest in a string of harsh punishments meted out by Islamic judges.

"The accused can use the time spent in jail to reflect on how to lead a better life", Judge Abdul Rahman Mohamad Yunos was quoted as saying by Malaysia's Star newspaper.

A recent high-profile case saw a female model sentenced to the maximum of a fine and six lashes for drinking beer in public.

But after much international attention, religious authorities reduced her sentence to community service, our correspondent adds.



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