Convicted murderer Jabing Kho executed after bids to escape gallows fail

Jabing Kho was executed yesterday afternoon, hours after a five-judge Court of Appeal rejected his final last-ditch attempt to escape the gallows.
Jabing Kho was executed yesterday afternoon, hours after a five-judge Court of Appeal rejected his final last-ditch attempt to escape the gallows. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

Following a short-lived reprieve, convicted murderer Jabing Kho was executed yesterday afternoon, hours after a five-judge Court of Appeal rejected his final last-ditch attempt to escape the gallows.

The Singapore Police Force said in a statement that the 32-year-old "had his death sentence carried out" at Changi Prison Complex and that he "had been accorded full due process under the law".

It brought to a close a long-running case in which Kho appeared before the apex court twice in the past two days, even though the court had said in April - when it dismissed his first 11th-hour bid to stop his execution - that the matter should come to an end.

In 2008, the Sarawakian killed a Chinese construction worker while robbing him. The victim, Mr Cao Ruyin, 40, was bludgeoned with a tree branch. The blows shattered his skull. Kho, who was tried for murder in 2009 and convicted in 2010, had at least nine lawyers representing him. He was originally scheduled to be hanged yesterday morning. Two days earlier, lawyer Gino Hardial Singh filed a criminal motion to quash the death sentence. This was rejected on Thursday.

Separately on Thursday, lawyer and opposition politician Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss filed a High Court civil action. Her request for a stay of execution was denied but she filed an appeal by the 11pm deadline, getting Kho a reprieve.

Yesterday morning, the apex court heard arguments from her as well as another lawyer, Mr Alfred Dodwell, who had also filed a civil action but later withdrew it. When the lawyers sought an adjournment, saying they were not prepared to argue, they were chided by the court, which also dismissed the appeal against the temporary stay.

"This case has been about many things. But today, it is about the abuse of the process of the court," said Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin.

The court noted that Kho had filed multiple applications and used civil action to "mount a collateral attack" against a court decision on a criminal matter; what was worse was that he had come to court with the same arguments he had raised earlier. The court said "no real issues of any merit have been raised" in the "plainly misconceived" action.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2016, with the headline 'Killer executed after bids to escape gallows fail'. Print Edition | Subscribe