July 26, 2017

Singapore executes 29-year-old Malaysian for drug trafficking

15 July 2017, 01:43 | Rodolfo Wallace

Singapore hangs Malaysian despite UN plea to pause death penalty

Singapore brushes aside calls for clemency, executes Malaysian drug trafficker

SINGAPORE has executed a Malaysian man convicted of drug trafficking after his lawyers had failed in their eleventh-hour bid to seek clemency from the government.

Prabagaran was convicted in 2012 after 22.24g of diamorphine, a pure form of heroin, was found in his auto at the Singaporean immigration checkpoint as he tried to enter the country.

He was convicted of importing 22.24g of diamorphine into Singapore on July 22, 2014, and was sentenced to death by the High Court two months later, it said.

In April 2012, Prabagaran was arrested at the Woodlands checkpoint when authorities found him in possession of 22.24 grams of heroin hidden in his vehicle.

Prabagaran a/l Srivijayan was arrested in the early morning of April 12, 2012, at the Woodlands Checkpoint after immigration officers found two bundles wrapped with black masking tape - later found to contain the diamorphine - in the centre armrest console of the vehicle he was driving into Singapore.

The watchdog said drug-related crimes did not fall under "most serious crimes" category and that global law and standards must prohibit the use of the death penalty for such cases. However, Prabagaran's petition for mercy was unsuccessful.

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Srivijayan's lawyer, Choo Zheng Xi, had asked the Singapore apex court on Thursday to put a stay on his execution on the grounds that his appeal in Malaysia was still pending.

The lawyers said that the Malaysian has an appeal pending before the Court of Appeal in Kuala Lumpur.

He told FMT the appeals court had ruled that Singapore is a sovereign nation and that it would not wait for the outcome of proceedings in Malaysia.

However, the Judges of Appeal Chao Hick Tin, Andrew Phang and Tay Yong Kwang said the attempt to stop Srivijayan's execution because of proceedings in another country is "an abuse of process".

Prabagaran Srivijayan's legal team have raised serious concerns about the fairness of his trial, including the authorities' failure to follow up leads and call on key witnesses that would corroborate his version of events.

Malaysia also uses capital punishment, executing murderers and drug traffickers by hanging. The death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime and has rejected calls to abolish capital punishment, maintained Singapore consistently.

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