Monday, July 4, 2022

After pre-dawn hanging, Singapore AG hits out at Nagaenthran’s mum, international critics

The Singapore Attorney-General's Chambers says it will take contempt action over comments made locally and abroad on Nagaenthran's case.

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The Singapore Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) today launched a scathing attack on Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam’s mother while accusing critics of trying to stall the court process, in a statement released on the same day as his execution just before dawn.

It said the criminal motion brought by Panchalai Supermaniam two days before her son’s execution in a last-ditch attempt to save him from the gallows was the seventh such application made by Nagaenthran since his initial appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in 2011.

“It is the latest attempt to abuse the court’s processes and unjustifiably delay the carrying into effect of the lawful sentence imposed on Nagaenthran,” it said, adding that Panchalai had no legal standing to be a party to the proceedings.

It also took issue with the tone of language used in the papers filed by Panchalai, saying they were “clearly” prepared by lawyers.

“As emphasised by the Court of Appeal, lawyers who assist their clients in drip-feeding applications and evidence act contrary to their duties as officers of the court,” the AGC said.

Repeating the claim that Nagaenthran had been accorded due legal process, it said “various individuals and groups” within and outside of Singapore had repeated “false allegations” contained in Panchalai’s affidavit.

“The AGC takes a serious view of any act that may constitute contempt, and will not hesitate to take appropriate action to protect the administration of justice,” it said.

Nagaenthran was executed early today after more than a decade spent on death row in Changi prison for the offence of trafficking 43g – about three tablespoons – of heroin into Singapore.

He had an IQ of 69, a level recognised as a disability, and was reportedly coerced into committing the crime.

His execution followed a sustained outbreak of public disapproval for Singapore’s continued use of the death penalty as well as its decision to send him to the gallows given his mental disability.

Prominent international figures including British billionaire Richard Branson had condemned his death sentence and urged the Singapore authorities to show him leniency.

At home, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob were among Malaysian government leaders who had also written to Singapore authorities asking for leniency on behalf of Nagaenthran.

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