Indian drug trafficker Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam’s appeal against his execution will be heard by a panel of five judges of the Singapore Supreme Court on Jan. 24, according to a media report.
Nagaenthran, 33, of Indian descent and Malaysian citizenship, is appealing a Supreme Court decision denying him permission to initiate a judicial review procedure to challenge the death sentence.
The appeal will be heard by a panel made up of Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and Judges Andrew Phang, Judith Prakash, Belinda Ang and Chao Hick Tin, The Straits Times reported Friday.
Nagaenthran, represented by attorney M. Ravi, has pleaded not to have the mental fitness to be considered a regular drug trafficker. He has even asked the court to have him assessed by a panel of psychiatrists.
Nagaenthran was arrested in 2009 with a stash of heroin strapped to his thigh. He was convicted in 2010 of smuggling 42.72 g of heroin and sentenced to the then mandatory death penalty.
His appeals against his conviction and sentence were dismissed in 2011, the newspaper said.
In 2015, he again applied for a life sentence after the law was changed to allow the alternative punishment. However, the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence in 2017 after considering the opinions of four psychological experts.
Last year, Nagaenthran made an 11-hour effort to challenge his impending execution on November 10 — again advocating mental disabilities. However, on the day of his appeal on November 9, Nagaenthran tested positive for COVID-19. The panel of three judges subsequently granted a stay of his execution.
During this interim 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 on leave from December 2 to January 13. Mr Ravi is now practicing again.
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