Court dismisses last-minute bid by mother of Malaysian drug trafficker to halt execution

SINGAPORE – The mother of Malaysian drug trafficker Nagaenthran Okay. Dharmalingam on Tuesday (April 26) failed in an eleventh-hour try to halt his rescheduled execution, which is due to be carried out on Wednesday.

Her last-minute software was dismissed by a three-judge Court of Appeal, comprising Justices Andrew Phang, Judith Prakash and Belinda Ang.

Justice Phang stated the appliance was patently devoid of factual and authorized advantage, and was a transparent continuation of techniques to “drip-feed” purposes to forestall the sentence from being carried out. 

The try got here practically a month after a five-judge Court of Appeal, led by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, on March 29 rejected Nagaenthran’s last-ditch bid to problem his loss of life sentence, calling it a blatant and egregious abuse of the court docket’s processes.

Nagaenthran, who was convicted in 2010, has exhausted his rights of attraction. He was first scheduled to be hanged on Nov 10 final 12 months however filed a last-ditch problem. 

After his mother’s software was dismissed, the court docket granted Nagaenthran two hours to spend along with his members of the family and maintain their arms.

Earlier on Tuesday, earlier than a packed courtroom, Madam Panchalai Supermaniam advised the court docket by a Tamil interpreter: “I want my son back alive, Your Honour.”

She stated that she wanted time to get a lawyer.

Court papers filed on behalf of mother and son on Monday (April 25) contended that Chief Justice Menon, in presiding over Nagaenthran’s attraction, had “fundamentally breached” Nagaenthran’s constitutional proper to a good trial, and that this gave rise to a “reasonable apprehension of bias”.

This argument was premised on the truth that Chief Justice Menon was the serving Attorney-General when Nagaenthran was convicted and had his sentence upheld on attraction.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Woon Kwong stated this argument was baseless and conveniently omitted the truth that Nagaenthran and his earlier attorneys had no objections to Chief Justice Menon presiding over the case.

The prosecutor stated Chief Justice Menon’s tenure as Attorney-General had particularly been introduced to Nagaenthran’s consideration, however the inmate had confirmed by his counsel that he had no objections.

DPP Wong added that Chief Justice Menon was not concerned in any of the selections relating to Nagaenthran’s prosecution.

The prosecutor additionally highlighted that the court docket papers, which had been written in authorized language, might solely have been drafted with some kind of authorized recommendation.

He requested the court docket to direct Madam Panchalai to state the identities of the one who had ready the papers, saying that counsel shouldn’t be allowed to disguise behind the veil of anonymity to evade the results of abusing the court docket course of.

He additionally famous that the signature on the appliance was totally different from that of Madam Panchalai on her affidavit.

When questioned by the judges as to who had helped her draft and file the court docket papers, Madam Panchalai maintained that she didn’t have a lawyer. She stated the papers had been drafted by “educated” pals and the movement papers had been signed by a relative. 

But Justice Phang stated the paperwork had been clearly drafted by a lawyer.

He added that the allegation that Nagaenthran had been denied a good trial was clearly an afterthought.

The choose stated Nagaenthran has had greater than 5 years to increase this concern, as Chief Justice Menon first heard an software he filed in December 2016.

“The choice to keep this application in the pocket until the second day before his scheduled execution is reprehensible and improper,” stated Justice Phang.

Nagaenthran was convicted of trafficking 42.72g of heroin in 2010 and given the necessary loss of life penalty.

His appeals in opposition to his conviction and sentence had been dismissed in 2011.

In 2017, the High Court discovered that he didn’t qualify for a life time period, after contemplating psychological and psychiatric proof.

His case got here beneath the highlight after a letter, which was despatched from the jail authorities to his mother informing her that the loss of life sentence could be carried out on Nov 10, was circulated on social media.

On March 1, his attorneys argued that Nagaenthran was “not competent” to be executed, claiming he was mentally disabled.

On March 29, the five-judge court docket stated there was no admissible proof exhibiting any decline in Nagaenthran’s psychological situation.

The solely proof supplied by Nagaenthran’s former lawyer M. Ravi was a “self-serving” affidavit wherein he speculated that the inmate had the psychological age of an individual beneath the age of 18.

Nagaenthran’s attorneys had additionally objected to psychiatric and medical stories of the inmate’s scheduled check-ups – carried out on Aug 5 and Nov 3 final 12 months – from being admitted as proof.

The court docket stated the attorneys’ objection helps the inference that Nagaenthran is looking for to forestall the court docket from accessing that proof as a result of he is aware of or believes it could undermine his case.

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