Published: Monday October 15, 2012 MYT 7:42:00 PM
Updated: Monday October 15, 2012 MYT 10:03:11 PM
S’pore court dismisses move by convicted M’sian drug trafficker to re-open his case
SINGAPORE: Singapore's Court of Appeal has dismissed a criminal motion by lawyers of a convicted Malaysian drug trafficker to set aside his death sentence and re-open his case in the High Court for a re-trial, given proposed changes to the mandatory death penalty for drug traffickers.
Local television Channel News Asia (CNA) reported Cheong Chun Yin was convicted in 2010 of trafficking in 2.7kg of heroin into the republic.
Cheong had arrived from Myanmar and delivered a black trolley bag containing the drugs.
CNA said, according to Cheong's lawyers, M. Ravi and Louis Joseph, the Malaysian believed he was carrying gold bars, and did not know the bag contained drugs.
They said Cheong was only a mule acting for two other masterminds who had yet to be nabbed, adding that he had tried to cooperate with the authorities.
Under the proposed amendments, the court will have the discretion to sentence a drug trafficker to life imprisonment and caning, as opposed to the current mandatory death penalty, if the accused is found to have met two specific and tightly-controlled requirements.
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean had earlier, said that all executions which were due since the review of the death penalty started in July last year, had been deferred.
In Cheong's case, Deputy Public Prosecutor Aedit Abdullah said there was no basis for it to be re-opened as the amendments had not been enacted yet.
On that point, CNA reported Justice Chao Hick Tin said the court must make decisions on the present case, based on current laws.
He added that there would be provisions under the new law, once it was enacted in Parliament, for Cheong's case to be heard if he fulfilled its specific conditions. - Bernama