Indian-born drug trafficker Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam’s appeal against his execution will be heard by a five-judge panel of Singapore’s Supreme Court on January 24, according to a news report.
Nagaenthran, 33, of Indian origin and Malaysian nationality, is appealing a High Court decision denying him leave to initiate judicial review proceedings to challenge the death sentence.
The appeal is expected to be heard by a panel consisting of Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and Justices Andrew Phang, Judith Prakash, Belinda Ang and Chao Hick Tin, the Straits Times reported on Friday.
Represented by attorney Mr. Ravi, Nagaenthran pleaded that he lacked the mental capacity to be considered a regular drug dealer. He even asked the court to have him evaluated by a panel of psychiatrists.
Nagaenthran was arrested in 2009 with a stash of heroin strapped to his thigh. He was convicted of trafficking 42.72g of heroin in 2010 and sentenced to the death penalty, which was then mandatory.
His appeals against his conviction and sentence were dismissed in 2011, the newspaper said.
In 2015, he sought a further life sentence after the law was changed to allow the alternative sentence. However, the high court upheld his death sentence in 2017 after considering the opinions of four psychological experts.
Last year, Nagaenthran made an 11-hour attempt to challenge his impending execution on November 10 – again pleading mental disabilities. However, on the day of his call on November 9, Nagaenthran tested positive for COVID-19. The panel of three judges then granted a stay of execution.
During this intervening period, the hearing was further delayed after his lawyer, Ravi – also of Indian descent – was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) forced Mr. Ravi to take leave from December 2 to January 13. Mr. Ravi has resumed the practice now.
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