Singapore Court of Appeal grants stay to Pannir Selvam

Malaysian Pannir Selvam Pranthaman was scheduled to be executed at Changi prison on Friday. (Facebook pic)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Court of Appeal today granted Malaysian Pannir Selvam Pranthaman’s application to stay his execution and enable him to challenge the clemency process.

Pannir, 32, who was represented by counsel Too Xing Ji of BMS Law, was scheduled to be executed at dawn tomorrow.

He filed the stay application from prison pending a challenge upon the rejection of clemency.

The letter from the Singapore President refusing clemency was dated May 17, 2019, but the letter notifying his family of the execution was posted out on May 16, 2019.

Pannir’s application was heard before Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and two Judges of Appeal, Judith Prakash and Steven Chong.

In his decision, Menon said Pannir “ought to have reasonable opportunity to take advice on whether he can mount a successful challenge”.

“He was notified of both the rejection of his clemency petition and scheduled date of the execution sentence just one week in advance”.

The judges also took into consideration that Too only came into the picture as Pannir’s lawyer today.

“To be fair to him, we cannot expect him to be in a position to mount a fully developed argument. In the circumstances, we think that the execution should be stayed until further order.

“The applicant has two weeks to file his intended application together with any supporting evidence.

“The prosecution has two weeks to respond. Both parties have to file a submission within a week of the prosecution’s response and refix the matter for hearing before us,” said Menon.

Pannir was convicted on June 27, 2017 by the Singapore High Court for trafficking in 51.84g of diamorphine at Woodlands Checkpoint on Sept 3, 2014.

Also present at the court were his family and Lawyers for Liberty adviser N Surendran and executive director Latheefa Koya.

Meanwhile, Pannir’s father Pranthaman Rajoo was overjoyed with the Singapore Court of Appeal’s decision to stay the execution, saying he was praying hard that it won’t be shortlived.