Singapore/Malaysia -‘Prabagaran maintained his innocence until the end’

 ‘Prabagaran maintained his innocence until the end’

| July 15, 2017

The 29-year-old Malaysian, who was hanged to death at the Changi Prison yesterday, accepted his fate but always maintained his innocence, says We Believe in Second Chances co-founder Kirsten Han.

Kirsten-Han-S.-Prabagaran

 

PETALING JAYA: S. Prabagaran, who was executed in Singapore on Friday for drug trafficking, accepted his fate but maintained his innocence until the end.

 

The 29-year-old Malaysian, who is from Johor Baru, was hanged to death at the Changi Prison yesterday and was cremated at the Mandai crematorium in Singapore.

 

We Believe in Second Chances co-founder Kirsten Han said those who were with him said he was jovial and joking with the prison guards even during the approaching hours of the execution.

 

“Prabagaran always told his cousin that he was innocent but that he accepted his fate,” The Star quoted Han as saying.

 

Prabagaran was convicted in 2012 after 22.24g of diamorphine, a pure form of heroin, was found in his car at the Singaporean immigration checkpoint as he tried to enter the country.

 

He maintained his innocence, claiming that he did not own the car he drove and was not aware of the drugs being in it.

 

Earlier this year, he turned to the Malaysian courts to compel the government to start legal proceedings against Singapore before an international tribunal for denying him a fair trial.

 

On March 24, Prabagaran failed to obtain leave at the Kuala Lumpur High Court to compel the Malaysian government to start proceedings against Singapore.

 

On Thursday, lawyer N Surendran said Singapore’s Court of Appeal had dismissed Prabagaran’s application to stay his execution pending his case in the Malaysian courts.

 

 

He told FMT the appeals court had ruled that Singapore is a sovereign nation and that it would not wait for the outcome of proceedings in Malaysia.

 

Amnesty International criticised the execution, saying it was a shocking violation of the human right to life.

 

“That an appeal was pending in this case in his home country at the time of execution, and that there were serious concerns about the fairness of his trial, underlines a flagrant disregard for due process in profoundly dubious circumstances,” said its director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, James Gomez. – FMT News, 15/7/2017

 

See other news stories

 

UN urges Singapore to halt Malaysian’s execution
InternationalYahoo Singapore NewsJul 11, 2017

FIDH calls for Singapore to halt its execution of Prabagaran Srivijayan

The Online CitizenJul 12, 2017
Paris, 12 July 2017 – Singaporean authorities must halt the execution of Prabagaran Srivijayan, FIDH said today. Prabagaran, a 29-year-old …

Singapore: Malaysian facing imminent execution for drugs conviction after unfair trial(Amnesty International)

PRESS RELEASE

 

[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]

 

11 July 2017

 

Singapore: Malaysian facing imminent execution for drugs conviction after unfair trial

 

The Singaporean authorities must halt the imminent execution of a Malaysian man convicted of importing drugs amid serious concerns about the fairness of his trial, Amnesty International said today.

 

PrabagaranSrivijayan’s execution has been scheduled for this Friday, 14 July 2017, according to his family who were informed last week. PrabagaranSrivijayan was convicted of drug trafficking and given a mandatory death sentence in 2012 after 22.24g of diamorphine was found in the arm rest of a car he borrowed. He has consistently maintained his innocence.

 

“There are only four days left to save PrabagaranSrivijayan’s life before he is cruelly dragged to the gallows. The Singaporean authorities must immediately halt his execution before another person suffers this inhumane and irreversible punishment,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

 

PrabagaranSrivijayan’s legal team have raised serious concerns about the fairness of his trial, including the authorities’ failure to follow up leads and call on key witnesses that would corroborate his version of events.

 

His legal representatives also launched a case in Malaysia in March 2017 to urge the country to seek the intervention of the International Court of Justice, with an appeal on the matter still being considered at the Court of Appeal. International safeguards for death row prisoners clearly state that the death penalty must not be carried out while appeals are pending.

 

“The death penalty is always a violation of the human right to life, and the circumstances around this case make the Singaporean authorities’ eagerness to go ahead with the execution even more disturbing,” said James Gomez.

 

“Not only has PrabagaranSrivijayan’s legal team highlighted serious flaws in his trial, there is also an appeal on his case pending in Malaysia. Singapore would be flaunting international law if this execution is carried out.”

 

Background

 

Under Singaporean law, when there is a presumption of drug possession and trafficking, the burden of proof shifts from the prosecutor to the defendant. This violates the right to a fair trial in international human rights law by turning the presumption of innocence on its head.

 

Drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” to which the use of the death penalty must be restricted under international law and standards, which also prohibit the imposition of the death penalty as a mandatory punishment.

 

Since Singapore ended a moratorium on executions in 2014, the authorities have executed at least ten people, including seven for drug trafficking. In 2016, four people were executed – two for murder and two for drug trafficking – while at least 38 people were known to be on death row at the end of that year.

 

Amnesty International opposes the use of the death penalty outright, regardless of the crime. As of today 103 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes and 141 are abolitionist in law or practice.

 

For further information, please see: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa36/6687/2017/en/

 

SINGAPORE, DO NOT EXECUTE MALAYSIAN S. PRABAGARAN ON 14 JULY 2017

Media Statement – 11/7/2017

 

SINGAPORE, DO NOT EXECUTE MALAYSIAN S. PRABAGARAN ON 14 JULY 2017

  • Respect Malaysian Courts and Malaysia –

MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) calls on Singapore to stop its plans to execute Malaysian citizen Prabagaran Srivijayan on Friday, 14 July 2017. Prabagaran was convicted and sentence to death for the offence of drug trafficking by Singapore. There are concerns that he was not accorded a fair trial.

 

There is an application now pending at the Malaysian Court of Appeal to refer Singapore to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for breach of the right to a fair trial. Last March, the Malaysian High Court denied the application for leave for a judicial review to compel Malaysia to intervene by referring Singapore to the ICJ. That means that this judicial review is not even been heard on the merits. Justice demands that Prabagaran not be executed until this court application be heard.

 

Singapore will not lose anything by simply postponing the execution, better still commuting the death penalty to imprisonment.

 

As such, for Singapore to execute this Malaysian at this stage, it may be said to be an act of disrespecting not only the Malaysian courts and Malaysia, but also be an affront to justice to execute before the convicted is able fully exercise all available legal options. To now continue with a speedy execution, will also raise the presumption that Singapore may be fearful that the International Court of Justice may indeed confirm that Prabakaran was denied a fair trial.

 

Whilst Singapore may have amended its laws, making it a possibility that persons convicted for drug trafficking not to be sentenced to death, there are serious flaws in this new current law.

 

To escape the death penalty, the accussed needs to satisfy 2 conditions – (1) Must get a Certificate Of Substantive Assistance from the Attorney General’s Chambers, and (2) prove on a balance of probabilities, that his involvement in the offence under section 5(1) or 7 was restricted — to transporting, sending or delivering a controlled drug; to offering to transport, send or deliver a controlled drug; to doing or offering to do any act preparatory to or for the purpose of his transporting, sending or delivering a controlled drug; or to any combination of activities above;

 

Thus, without the Attorney General Chamber’s certificate, the judges in Singapore cannot exercise their discretion when it comes to sentencing, and will have no choice but to sentence the convicted to death.

 

It should be only court who determines whether ‘substantive assistance’ was given or not, certainly not the Attorney General’s Chambers. Some persons may not have any other information, and it is unjust conclude since they had not provided ‘substantive assistance’, they will die. Judges will certainly be more independent in determining whether the required or possible ‘substantive assistance’ was given or not – certainly not the Attorney General’s Chambers, who is also the prosecuting authority.

 

Hopefully, Malaysia will not make a similar mistake when it abolishes the death penalty, and would always ensure that only judges will be vested with the discretion when it comes to sentencing.

 

To compound matters, the denial of access of lawyers in the Malaysian court actions to Prabagaran is unacceptable and against human rights.(Malay Mail, 7/7/2017)

 

MADPET calls on Singapore to immediately postpone the planned execution of Prabakaran until he has fully exhausted all his legal options in Malaysia and Singapore, and maybe even the International Court of Justice(ICJ);

 

MADPET also call for Prabakaran’s death penalty to be commuted;

 

MADPET calls on Singapore to amend its laws, returning discretion to judges when it comes to sentencing. The provision in law about the requirement of ‘Certificate of Substantive Assistance’ by the Attorney General’s Chambers, before the convicted becomes entitled to a sentence other than death penalty must be repealed.

 

MADPET also urges the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and the Malaysian government to speedily act to save the life of this Malaysian. Malaysia should also withdraw its objections, and allow the judicial review to be heard on its merits by the court.

 

MADPET also calls on both Singapore and Malaysia to abolish the death penalty, and immediately impose a moratorium on all executions.

 

Charles Hector

For and on behalf of MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)

  • MADPET is a member of ADPAN

 

Lawyers complain Malaysian set for Singapore hanging despite lawsuit

Friday July 7, 2017
03:24 PM GMT+8

 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Malaysian citizen S. Prabagaran’s execution in Singapore has been scheduled next Friday despite his court application here to refer Singapore to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), his lawyers said today.

 

  1. Surendran and Latheefa Koya called for a halt to the 29-year-old man’s scheduled execution, saying that his trial and conviction for drug trafficking were tainted by a breach of his right to a fair trial.

 

“Why is Singapore rushing the execution before the court proceedings in Malaysia are concluded?

 

“To carry out the execution despite the pending proceedings in Malaysia would be in breach of international law and would disregard Prabagaran’s constitutional rights,” they said in a statement.

 

The lawyers pointed out that there was an application pending at the Malaysian Court of Appeal to refer Singapore to the ICJ for breach of the right to a fair trial, after their client failed last March to obtain leave from the High Court here for a judicial review to compel Malaysia to intervene by referring Singapore to the ICJ.

 

Surendran and Latheefa also said Singapore had denied their application to interview and to take instructions from their client in Changi prison.

 

“We call upon the government of Singapore to halt the execution, and allow us immediate access to Prabagaran as his duly appointed lawyers acting in the pending Malaysian proceedings,” they said. – Malay Mail, 7/7/2017