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Nagaenthran’s family set to sue Attorney-General’s Chambers

The Independent logo The Independent 21/11/2021 Anna Maria Romero
© The Independent Singapore © The Independent Singapore

Singapore — The family of a Malaysian convict on death row whose case has received international attention of late will be taking Singapore’s Attorney-General, Lucien Wong, to court due to reported “negligence” by the criminal justice system.

Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, 33, who has an IQ of 69 and is said to suffer from intellectual disability, was scheduled to be judicially executed on Nov 10, but was given a temporary stay of execution after testing positive for Covid on Nov 8.

He was arrested for drug trafficking over a decade ago at the age of 21, and was sentenced to death for importing 42.72g of heroin into Singapore.

He said at his trial that he had been coerced into committing the offence by a man who not only assaulted him but also threatened to kill his girlfriend.

Malaysiakini reported on Thursday (Nov 18) that Nagaenthran’s lawyer in Singapore, Ravi MRavi, said the lawsuit will be filed next week.

“What I have is the instruction (from) the family to sue the AG (Wong) over their negligence and willful disregard.

After putting them on notice (about) Nagaenthran’s mental health, they should have just stopped and said ‘Okay, I’ll get someone to review’.

(There has been a) willful disregard for human life. We will be suing. Nagaenthran and the family will be claiming damages as well,” Mr Ravi is quoted as saying.

At the same time, the AGC is also demanding that Mr Ravi remove two Facebook posts on the grounds of Contempt of Court, including a live video from Nov 5 wherein the lawyer talked about Nagaenthran’s case.

Mr Ravi has also been ordered by the AGC to issue a written apology and post it on his social media account by 5:00 pm on Nov 22 (Monday).

The lawyer has been quoted as saying, “I do not want to dignify the AG (Wong) with a response.”

Appeals for a stay of execution for Nagaenthran have come from many quarters, with one coming from no less than the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Malaysia’s state news agency Bernama reported on Nov 7 that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob wrote a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong requesting clemency for Nagaenthran.

Activists on both sides of the Causeway have pleaded for a stay of his execution based on extraordinary circumstances, and a petition on the change.org platform appealing for him to be spared has drawn more than 87,000 signatories.

Even British business magnate and investor Richard Branson has appealed for clemency for Nagaenthran, as have various human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN).

/TISG

Read also: SG envoy responds to UN appeal for stay of execution: Nagaenthran “undertook criminal endeavour… despite knowing unlawfulness of his acts”

SG envoy responds to UN appeal for stay of execution: Nagaenthran “undertook criminal endeavour… despite knowing unlawfulness of his acts”

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