Death row inmate’s judicial review bid not interfering with Singapore affairs, says lawyer

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Source: The Malay Mail Online

V. Eswary, pictured with lawyer Surendran (right), filed the judicial review at a High Court here today. — Picture by Choo Choy May

V. Eswary, pictured with lawyer Surendran (right), filed the judicial review at a High Court here today. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — The judicial review bid by a Malaysian death row inmate in Singapore to compel the Malaysian government to take his case to an international court is not an “interference” in Singapore affairs, his lawyer N. Surendran said today.

S. Prabagaran, 29, who is facing death sentence for drug trafficking in Singapore, and his mother V. Eswary, both filed the judicial review at a High Court here today, seeking leave to obtain a mandamus for the Malaysian government to institute legal action against Singapore at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“We are not entering Singapore’s affairs. It’s just wanting justice done for a Malaysian citizen,” he told reporters after filing the judicial review here today.

“Malaysia has the right to raise any cases regarding the treatment of its citizens abroad,” he added.

Surendran said that such a case has never been filed by Malaysia before, but there have been precedents elsewhere in the world, such as Mexico taking United States to the ICJ over Mexican citizens in death row in the US.

Prabagaran, who allegedly drove a car with drugs to a Singapore immigration checkpoint in 2012, has exhausted all his appeals, but his lawyers said that he has not received a fair trial.

Prabagaran has claimed he did not own the car he was driving and had identified individuals who are the original owners of the car, but Singapore authorities reportedly have not sought the other individuals with the assistance of Malaysian authorities.

“It is customary international law for an individual to receive fair trial.

“The aspect of a fair trial has been contravened in Prabagaran’s case,” he added.

Prabagaran is facing execution in just a few weeks and the judicial review filed today is his last resort to get the case brought to the ICJ.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International Malaysia director Shamini Darshini, who was also present, said the human rights watchdog will start a petition to stay Prabagaran’s execution and abolish the death penalty, directed towards both Malaysian and Singapore governments.