India-origin Malaysian man executed in Singapore

Singapore: Despite UN and rights groups calls to stop the capital punishment of an Indian-origin Malaysian man, Singapore has carried out its death sentence and executed the 29-yr-old on Friday.

Prabagaran Srivijayan was caught with two packets of 22.24 grams of diamorphine in his car while he was entering Singapore in 2012. He was arrested at Woodlands Checkpoint in the main causeway to southern Peninsular Malaysia.
Srivijayan’s lawyer, Choo Zheng Xi, had appealed the Singapore Apex court on Thursday, to stay Srivijiyan’s capital punishment on the grounds that his appeal is still pending in Malaysia.

His death sentence was carried out the next following day at Singapore’s Changi Prison Complex, said the Central Narcotics Bureau(CNB).

Pleading to stay the execution on grounds pending proceedings in another country the bench headed by Judges of Appeal Chao Hick Tin, Andrew Phang and Tay Yong Kwang termed it as “an abuse of process”.

“The judiciary of each country is entitled to act in accordance with its Constitution and its laws,” adding, “No judiciary of one country interferes in the judicial process of another country” said Judge Chao.

Srivijayan earlier appeal before the Malaysian Court against Singapore’s Court’s decision in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). His plea was pending with the Malaysian Court.

Amnesty International observed the trial as fair, including the alleged failure of the authorities “to follow up leads and call on key witnesses that would corroborate his version of events”.

The United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR) South East Asia Regional office deciding on the case called Singapore to halt the scheduled execution of Prabagaran on Friday, urging the government to immediately issue a suspension on the death penalty.

“Drug-related offences do not fall under the threshold of ‘most serious crimes’. Furthermore, under domestic law, the death penalty is not mandatory for drug-related offences,” the OHCHR official said.

The Misuse of Drugs Act serves death penalty provides if the amount of imported diamorphine is more than 15 grams and according to CNB, Srivijayan’s punishment was according to due process of law as he was caught carrying 22.24 grams of diamorphine, equivalent to about 1,853 straws, sufficient enough to feed 265 addicts for a week.

Both countries Malaysia and Singapore serve death sentence by executing murderers and drug traffickers by hanging. Singapore maintains the punishment and has also denied from abolishing the capital punishment.