KL court says it can't interfere in S'pore case

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's High Court yesterday said it could not interfere in a case involving two Malaysian death row inmates in Singapore who wanted their plight to be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), New Straits Times (NST) reported.

Judge Hanipah Farikullah, who made the ruling in chambers, said the court has no jurisdiction in a matter related to foreign policy.

He dismissed a leave application by S. Prabagaran, 30, and K. Datchinamurthy, 32, for a judicial review, NST said.

The duo who are behind bars in Singapore wanted to compel the Malaysian Foreign Minister and the Malaysian government to institute proceedings against Singapore at the ICJ over their drug trafficking conviction.

Lawyer N. Surendran, who represented the applicants, said the two men will be appealing against the decision. "The court dismissed our application for leave, saying that this is a matter that relates to foreign policy and the court has no jurisdiction to interfere," Mr Surendran said, according to the newspaper.

Prabagaran was convicted in the High Court of Singapore in July 2014 of trafficking 22.24g of diamorphine. Datchinamurthy was convicted in April 2015, along with Singaporean J. Christeen, in the same court for trafficking 44.96g of diamorphine, NST said.

The Malaysians were sentenced to death in 2015 after exhausting all their domestic legal remedies in Singapore.

Prabagaran and his mother V. Eswary, 54, then filed an application for a judicial review in January.

The other convicted Malaysian and his mother A. Letchumi, 54, similarly filed for a judicial review last month. They wanted to get Malaysia's Foreign Minister and the Kuala Lumpur government to start proceedings in the ICJ to stop their execution.

NST said the duo were also seeking for a declaration that they are legally obliged to protect their right to a fair trial.

Earlier, Mr Surendran said there were no indications when Singapore would be carrying out the execution. "It (execution) could be at any time as all appeals have been exhausted and that is why we are continuing with the appeal," he said, according to the paper.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2017, with the headline 'KL court says it can't interfere in S'pore case'. Print Edition | Subscribe