Appeals of 3 Malaysians on death row in Singapore to be heard Friday

PETALING JAYA: Three Malaysians on death row in Singapore for drug trafficking will have their appeals heard at the republic’s appellate court this Friday.

The trio – Datchinamurthy Kataiah, Pannir Selvam Pranthaman and Saminathan Selvaraju – are among the 12 who will have their appeals heard, Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network’s Dobby Chew told FMT.

A fourth Malaysian, Gobi Avedian, who was convicted for drug offences but was not handed the death sentence will also be appealing his case.

Chew said the convicted Malaysians were appealing their conviction on grounds that their private correspondence with their counsel had on multiple occasions been copied and forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) without their knowledge or consent.

“Some of this correspondence included privileged communications with lawyers. The AGC is also the state organ that had prosecuted these prisoners.

“The prisoners had filed a civil suit against the AGC, but it was dismissed by the High Court last year,” he told FMT.

Datchinamurthy was scheduled to be executed last year. However, he managed to obtain a stay of execution from the Singapore High Court at the 11th hour pending his legal suit against the Singapore government over his death sentence.

He was charged with smuggling 44.96g of diamorphine into Singapore in 2011 and sentenced to death in 2015.

Pannir was charged in Singapore for trafficking heroin in 2017 while Saminathan was charged with trafficking diamorphine with two others in 2013.

According to Chew, Gobi was arrested on Dec 11, 2014 at the Woodlands Checkpoint and subsequently handed a capital charge of importing 40.22g of heroin but a High Court judge acquitted him of the capital charge and reduced it to one of attempted drug importation in 2017.

Gobi is now facing a 15-year jail sentence and 10 strokes of the cane, with the sentence backdated to the date of his remand.

The last Malaysian to be executed in Singapore for drugs was Kalwant Singh. He was hanged in July.

Kalwant was convicted in June 2016 of possessing 60.15g of diamorphine and trafficking 120.9g of the drug in the city-state.

Prior to that, Malaysian Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam was sent to the gallows in Singapore on April 27 for trafficking heroin.

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