The Singapore High Court has granted a stay of execution for Malaysian Datchinamurthy Kataiah, who was supposed to be hanged today for drug trafficking.
Lawyers for Liberty adviser N Surendran said that Datchinamurthy argued the case himself as no Singapore lawyer dared to represent him for fear of reprisal from the state.
Datchinamurthy argued for the stay of execution on the basis that he cannot be executed pending the outcome of his prison correspondence misconduct legal challenge, which is set to be heard by the court on May 20.
The Johor Bahru native was charged with smuggling 44.96gm of diamorphine into Singapore in 2011, and sentenced to death in 2015.
Datchimurthy's co-accused, a Singaporen named Christeen Jayamany, was certified as a couriter and sentenced to life imprisonment from the date of her arrest on January 18, 2011. As a woman, she was also spared the cane.
Since his sentencing, Datchinamurthy had submitted various appeals for clemency, all of which have been dismissed.
Datchinamurthy's case comes in the wake of the execution of Malaysian Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old from Ipoh, Perak, was condemned to the death row in 2010 for smuggling 2010 for smuggling 42.7hm of heroin into the city-state, a year earlier.
Acitivists and lawyers had pleaded for his death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment, arguing that with an IQ of 69, he was classified as intellectually challenged, and as such, cannot be executed as per international laws.
The courts, however, said that it had not found Nagaenthran to be "substantially impaired", and that he knew fully well he was carrying out an illegal act.
Nagaenthran's funeral is expected to take place in his hometown today.
Source: The Star, The Vibes
Photo source: The Vibes, amnesty.org
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