Lawyers call for halt to execution of death row prisoner


PETALING JAYA: The lawyers of S Prabagaran, who is on death row in Singapore for alleged drug trafficking, say his execution should not be carried out as there are matters still pending before the Malaysian Court of Appeal.

Although Prabagaran’s execution has been fixed for July 14, N Surendran and Latheefa Koya said the Singapore government was aware of an application pending before the appellate court to refer Singapore to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for breach of the right to a fair trial.

“Why is Singapore rushing the execution before the court proceedings in Malaysia are concluded?

“To carry out the execution despite the pending proceedings in Malaysia would be in breach of international law and would disregard Prabagaran’s constitutional rights,” they said in a statement today.

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.

Earlier this year, he filed a leave application for judicial review in the Kuala Lumpur High Court, in an effort to compel Putrajaya to start legal proceedings against Singapore before an international tribunal for denying him a fair trial.

However, the court denied his leave application to initiate the legal challenge, following which his lawyers filed an appeal on the matter.

Both Surendran and Latheefa have repeatedly criticised Singapore authorities for refusing to allow them to visit their client in the city state.

They said they were entitled to meet and consult with Prabagaran as they were acting for him in legal matters.

Today, they said Singapore had denied their formal application to meet with Prabagaran without any reasons given.

“This was in total disregard of Prabagaran’s fundamental right to consult legal practitioners of his choice.”

They added that Prabagaran’s family had been informed of his upcoming execution by way of a letter dated July 6, asking them to make “the necessary funeral arrangements”.

“The scheduled execution must be halted as Prabagaran’s trial and conviction is tainted by a fundamental breach of the right to a fair trial,” they said.