Nagaenthran's Mum Pleads For His Life As Singapore Sets Execution Date For 27 April
Singapore has set Wednesday, 27 April to execute 34-year-old Malaysian Indian Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam for drug trafficking
Nagaenthran's lawyer M Ravi shared the news on his LinkedIn page yesterday, 20 April.
In the post, the Singapore-based international human rights lawyer described the decision to go ahead with the hanging as "heartbreaking". He said that "the Singapore state will never be able to recover from the disgrace it's going to face internationally in hanging an intellectually disabled person".
Nagaenthran, who has a mild intellectual disability due to his lower-than-average IQ of 69, was arrested in 2009 for bringing 42.7g of heroin into the city-state. He has been on death row for more than a decade.
The Singapore government, however, doesn't consider Nagaenthran "substantially mentally or intellectually impaired" and therefore has refused to intervene and commute Nagaenthran's death sentence.
In his post yesterday, the lawyer added that everything about the case is wrong "from the beginning" and that even the government psychiatrist admitted that Nagaenthran suffered from an abnormality of mind.
"I will say that all Singaporeans will have blood [on] their hands next Wednesday as the execution is done in their name. You have a duty to stop this," M Ravi wrote in the LinkedIn post.
He was scheduled to be hanged on 10 November 2021
However, the Singapore High Court granted Nagaenthran a stay of execution two days before on 8 November after his lawyer M Ravi filed an 11th-hour constitutional challenge, which was dismissed.
The High Court still allowed an appeal to the Court of Appeal, which was supposed to be heard in November last year but was postponed for five months when Nagaenthran tested positive for COVID-19.
On 29 March 2022, his appeal was dismissed and the execution date has now been rescheduled for 27 April. The news has left Nagaenthran's family in Malaysia devastated.
Following the announcement that Nagaenthran is set to be hanged on Wednesday, his mother, Panchalai Supermaniam, has made an impassioned plea in Bahasa Melayu to help save her son's life
"Please help my son, everyone. I'm sorry he has done wrong. Please help, everyone. Only then there will be some relief," the mother appeals in a video that was posted on the 'Wake Up, Singapore' Facebook page.
Meanwhile, M Ravi, in a post on his official Facebook page, shared that Nagaenthran's lawyers in Malaysia have called for a stop to the execution due to an alleged conflict of interest in the latest judgement
In the post, M Ravi shared a letter addressed to Singapore's Attorney-General Lucien Wong.
In the letter, Malaysian lawyer N Surendran claimed that Nagaenthran was denied the right to a fair trial due to a conflict of interest involving Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon.
Below are the parts of the letter:
"We are instructed to bring to your attention that the Honorable Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon had presided over appeals from Nagaenthran on two occasions in 2019 and 2021/22. These are 2019 SGCA 37 and 2022 SGCA 26.
"You will not dispute that Nagaenthran was convicted in 2010 and his sentence affirmed in 2011, during the time when justice Sundaresh Menon was the attorney-general of Singapore.
"Hence, the subsequent appeals above-stated reveal a serious conflict of interest, in which the former public prosecutor under whose authority, knowledge, and formal participation the prosecution was carried out, presided subsequently over Nagaenthran's various appeals.
"On the face of it, this is a very serious disregard of the right to fair trial contained in Article 9(1) of the Singapore Constitution.
"Our client is constitutionally entitled to a re-hearing of the matter heard and decided by Justice Sundaresh Menon.
"We are finally instructed to ask that the execution fixed on 27 April 2022 be forthwith halted and the said appeals are re-heard.
"We ask that as an immediate step, you do the necessary, including advising the prime minister or relevant Cabinet minister and the president of Singapore to take action for the execution to be halted.
"We trust you will agree with us that to allow the execution to proceed after you have been apprised of this situation would be to knowingly condone or connive in an unlawful execution."