Don’t deny rights of man on death row, lawyers tell Singapore

S-PrabagaranPETALING JAYA: The lawyers of death row prisoner Prabagaran Srivijayan are calling for Singapore to allow them access to their client after the country’s prison authorities rejected their application to meet with him.

Prabagaran, 29, is on Singapore’s death row after being found guilty of drug trafficking.

His lawyers, N Surendran and Latheefa Koya, said the Singapore Prison Services had on Feb 13 rejected their application seeking access to Prabagaran.

In a press statement released today, Surendran and Latheefa said they were entitled to meet and consult with Prabagaran as they were acting for him in legal matters.

They referred to a judicial review application filed on Jan 16, adding that it was imperative that they consulted Prabagaran over the proceedings.

Prabagaran had filed leave application for judicial review in the KL High Court, in an effort to compel Putrajaya to start legal proceedings against Singapore before an international tribunal for denying him a fair trial.

“The right to have access to and consult with lawyers is a basic right recognised under both Singapore and Malaysian law,” Surendran and Latheefa said today.

“Denial of access to lawyers is also in breach of Article 14(3)(d) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

The lawyers expressed regret over Singapore’s refusal to grant them access to Prabagaran, and called on the Singapore government to review the decision.

They said the matter was made more urgent by the fact that Prabagaran was facing execution, having exhausted appeals within the Singapore legal system.

The lawyers also called on Putrajaya to make the necessary representations to the Singapore government to ensure that their citizen was afforded his basic legal right of access to his lawyers.

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 as he tried to enter the country.

He has maintained his innocence, claiming that he did not own the car he drove and was not aware of the drugs being in it.