Putrajaya resists death row convicts’ attempt to drag it to court

n-surendranKUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya has given notice that it wants to quash two lawsuits filed here by Malaysians on death row in Singapore after they were found guilty of trafficking drugs.

Lawyer N Surendran said this was made known by government lawyer Umar Saifuddin Jaafar who appeared before High Court judge Hanipah Farikullah today.

“We do not know the basis for the objection,” Surendran told reporters after a case management in chambers.

Surendran said the government had been instructed to file its objection by Feb 20 and his clients would reply by Feb 27.

Hanipah fixed March 7 to hear the objection and also hear whether to grant leave for the judicial review applications by the two men.

Surendran, together with counsel Raul Lee Baskaran, represented S Prabagaran and K Datchinamurthy while Saifuddin was assisted by Federal Counsel Nadia Hanim.

Prabagaran filed his leave application for judicial review on Jan 16 while Datchinamurthy submitted his legal papers last Friday.

Both turned to the Malaysian court to compel Putrajaya to start legal proceedings against Singapore before an international tribunal for denying them a fair trial.

They also want a declaration from the court that Putrajaya is obliged to protect their lives and freedom.

In their leave applications, both named the Malaysian foreign minister and the Malaysian government as respondents.

The 29-year-old Prabagaran was convicted in 2012 after 22.24g of diamorphine, a pure form of heroin, was found in his car at the Singapore immigration checkpoint.

During trial, he claimed that he did not know of the existence of the drugs in the car, which he said he had borrowed from a man called Nathan.

Factory worker Datchinamurthy,32 exhaused his final appeal two years ago after the Singapore Court of Appeal affirmed the findings of the High Court.

On Nov 18, 2011, the accused together with Singaporean, J Christeen, were arrested by Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers for trafficking 44.96g of diamorphine.

However, Christeen was spared the death sentence as she had provided “substantive assistance” to the CNB.