Singapore court rejects Nagaenthran Dharmalingam’s appeal for his execution. This was his final resort to overturn a previous conviction of drug trafficking. He is a 34-year-old Malaysian citizen, who was arrested in 2009 for bringing 42.7 grams (1.5 ounces) of heroin into Singapore. He was found guilty and sentenced to death.
People have drawn attention to his case since he will be executed in the next few days. #savenagaenthran has gained attention from United Nations, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, and British billionaire Richard Branson. They began to put in question the zero drug tolerance laws of the country.
His appeal was on the basis of mental disability and for his lawyers to start judicial review proceedings to halt the death sentence.
“The Court of Appeal has just dismissed the application and considered the appeal an abuse of process and that international law does not apply. Nagaenthran who is mentally disabled is due to be hanged possibly in the next few days,” said M. Ravi, who was part of Dharmalingam’s legal team.
In his ruling, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said there was “no admissible evidence showing any decline in the appellant’s mental condition after the commission of the offense.”
“The case mounted by the appellant’s counsel was baseless and without merit, both as a matter of fact and of law,” Menon said, according to court documents.
The court also dismissed a request for Dharmalingam to be assessed by an independent panel of psychiatrists.
After his family was notified of his impending execution in October 2021, Dharmalingam’s lawyers launched a last-minute constitutional challenge. The High Court dismissed their bid in November but granted a stay of execution so the decision could be appealed.
Anti-death penalty group Reprieve said Dharmalingam is facing imminent execution unless he is pardoned by Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob.