Lawyer says execution of two men an ‘unlawful act’


Source: FMT News

Family of executed brothers wants authorities to explain why they were hanged in a rush, with legal process not exhausted, says lawyer N Surendran. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The family of Rames and Suthar Batumalai, who were hanged four months ago over the murder of a man, is seeking explanations over their execution.

The family’s lawyer N Surendran, in a press conference today, said the family wants the Kajang prison authorities and the home ministry to explain why the execution was carried out without exhausting the legal process.

“When the execution was carried out, the outcome of the clemency petition was still pending. “A clemency petition is part of the legal process, not some discretion. It is not a privilege, but a legal right.

“The Kajang Prison and the home ministry had breached the law and acted unlawfully,” said Surendran, who is also a human rights activist, at a press conference here today.

Also present were Rames and Suthar’s family members, as well as Amnesty International Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni.

A fresh clemency application had been filed with the Negri Sembilan Pardons Board by the family’s lawyer on Feb 23.

International convention clearly states that executions may not be carried out pending any appeal or other proceedings relating to pardon or the commuting of a convict’s sentence.

Pic from FMT News.

Surendran further stated that the family is also seeking an explanation and inquiry into the manner in which Suthar was hanged, with his family claiming that his neck was not broken following the execution.

“Suthar’s neck was not broken, which indicates that the hanging was not done the right way.

“The hanging has to be carried out in a proper manner, with the least pain, and instantaneously. “The authorities are bound to respond to this. The answers are of public interest,” he said.

Rames and Suthar were sentenced to death in April 2010 under Section 302 of the Penal Code after they were found guilty of murdering Krishnan Raman on Feb 4, 2006.

The brothers, however, maintained their innocence. During the trial, they said they had only intervened to stop two other men from attacking and killing the victim.

The executions, which had been initially scheduled for Feb 24, were halted at the last hour. They were set again for March 17, however, family members said they were informed just one day before the actual execution took place, which was at dawn on March 15.

This was despite a letter informing them of the execution on March 17 and asking them to visit the two at Kajang Prison for the last time on March 15.