Fijian woman fails to challenge legality of death penalty

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PUTRAJAYA: A Fijian woman who is facing a drug trafficking charge today failed in her bid to challenge the legality of the mandatory death sentence for the offence.

A three-member Court of Appeal bench, chaired by Mohtarudin Baki, dismissed Christin Nirmal’s appeal to refer the matter to the Federal Court.

Mohtaruddin did not provide grounds for refusing Christin’s appeal to refer the case to the Federal Court under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act (COJA) 1964.

Christin, 30, is claiming that the 1983 amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952 that removed the judge’s discretion to either impose the capital punishment or jail term was unconstitutional.

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Malaysian Gopi Kumar is 6th victims of Minister’s Delay bringing into force law that abolishes mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking — Charles Hector

BY CHARLES HECTOR 

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

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) notes that despite the fact that the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2017 receiving royal assent on 27/12/2017, that effectively abolishes the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking, the failure of the Minister to do the needful to bring the law into force has resulted in Malaysian judges still having no choice but to sentence convicted drug traffickers to death.

‘…”Since there is only one sentence provided for under Section 39B of the Act, the court hereby sentences all the accused to death,” he [Judge Datuk Ghazali Cha] said….’(The Sun Daily,22/1/2018). Until the new Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2017 comes into force, Judges continues to have no discretion but to sentence those convicted to death.

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Minister’s Delay Resulted in Judge Having No Choice but to Sentence A. Sargunan and 4 others to Death — Charles Hector

BY CHARLES HECTOR, for and on behalf of MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)

All 39B(Drug Trafficking) Trials Should Be Suspended until New Law Comes into Force

MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is appalled by the delay of  the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2017 coming into force which will mean that persons now being convicted by Courts for drug trafficking  will still be subjected to the mandatory death penalty and not enjoy the possibility of  avoiding the death penalty. The proposed amendment to the law, when it comes into force, will only apply to cases where persons facing trial is yet to be convicted. Therefore, justly all drug trafficking case trials must not continue until the new law is in force. The Minister’s delay has already cost at least 5 persons to be convicted to death.

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Malaysian, four Indian nationals to hang for drug trafficking

Source: Malay Mail Online

SHAH ALAM, Jan 18 ― A local man and four Indian nationals were sent to the gallows by the High Court here today after being found guilty on two counts of trafficking 5.8kg of drugs at a house which doubled as a drug processing laboratory five years ago.

Judge Datuk Ghazali Cha handed down the sentence to A. Sargunan, 42, and four Indian nationals, namely Sumesh Sudhakaran, 30, Alex Aby Jacob Alexander, 37, Renjith Raveendran, 28, and Sajith Sadanandan, 29, after finding that the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubts against the prosecution’s case.

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Drug trafficking in Pahang on the rise

Source: Astro Awani 

The number of arrests due to drug trafficking in Pahang is on the rise with an increase of 37 cases or six per cent in the first six months of 2017 from 630 cases during the corresponding period last year.

Pahang police chief Datuk Rosli Ab Rahman said on the other hand, the number of drug possession in the first half had also increased by three per cent, namely 1,394 cases compared to 1,358 cases during the same period last year.

“A total of 37 people were picked up under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 for the first six months of this year compared to 23 people during the same period last year,” he said here today. Read more

Lawyer, activists slam pre-execution photoshoot

Source: FMT News

Petaling Jaya: N Surendran has slammed the practice in Singapore which has death-row inmates take part in a photoshoot “a day or two” before they are sent to the gallows, labelling it “inhumane”.

The lawyer who represented the family of S Prabagaran, the Malaysian who was hanged in Singaporefor drug trafficking, also said the act was morbid.

“It shows the harshness of Singaporean authorities to treat a person like that. They (death-row inmates) are not dolls,” he told FMT.

He was asked to comment on a tweet by We Believe in Second Chances co-founder Kirsten Han who uploaded a picture of a smiling Prabagaran.

“This was taken of Prabagaran this week as part of the pre-execution prison photoshoot. Photos are then given to the family,” she wrote. Read more

‘Prabagaran maintained his innocence until the end’

Source: FMT News

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. Read more

MP urges Putrajaya action as Singapore bars lawyers from Malaysians on death row

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Prabagaran Srivijayan’s mother Eswary Vengatasamy, pictured with lawyer N. Surendran (right), at the Duta court, January 16, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May for the MMO.

Prabagaran Srivijayan’s mother Eswary Vengatasamy, pictured with lawyer N. Surendran (right), at the Duta court, January 16, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The Malaysian government must intervene over Singapore’s refusal to let lawyers confer with two Malaysians sentenced to die there, said PKR MP N. Surendran.

The Padang Serai lawmaker, who is also representing S. Prabagaran and K. Datchinamurthy here, said access to the two were imperative in pursuing their separate appeals against their death sentences for drug trafficking in the city state.

“Our applications for access were rejected by the Singapore Prison Services without any reasons being given,” he said in a statement today.

“Access to lawyers and to the courts is a fundamental right, which cannot be interfered with.” Read more

Lam Thye suggests moratorium on death penalty cases

Source: The Star Online

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, pic from the Star Online.

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, pic from the Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: The Government should consider whether its review of the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking should include making it retrospective on pending cases, said social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).

Lee said the proposal for the review under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act was timely as this could help prevent a “travesty of justice”.

Judges, he said, must be given the discretion to mete out suitable sentences on a case by case basis, especially for drug mules.

“While supporting the review of Section 39B, I also hope that the Government will address the issue raised by lawmakers and legal practitioners, including whether the move, if approved, could have a retrospective effect on pending death penalty cases,” he said in a statement here yesterday.

He also called on the Government to decide whether a moratorium should be imposed on pending cases so as to ensure justice for those facing such charges.

Lee was responding to a report in The Star that lawyers and human rights groups had called for all pending executions to be put on hold while the decision by the Government to review the death penalty for drug trafficking was being deliberated. Read more

Govt cannot intervene in case of Malaysians on Singapore death row, court rules

Source: The Malay Mail Online

court-signpost-200x200 (1)KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Two Malaysians who are on death row in Singapore for drug trafficking today failed to obtain leave for a judicial review to compel the government to intervene by referring the republic to the International Court of Justice (IJC).

This followed a decision by High Court judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah in dismissing the applications by S. Prabagaran, 30, and his mother, V. Eswary, 54, as well as K. Datchinamurthy, 32, and his mother, A. Letchumi, 54,

Hanipah made the decision in chambers in a proceeding attended by their lawyers, N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya, as well as Senior Federal Counsel Datuk Umar Saifuddin Jaafar and Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud, who represented the home minister and the government, and lawyer Andrew Khoo, from the Bar Council. Read more