Drug trafficker fails in 11th-hour bid to stave off execution scheduled for Friday

Justice Andrew Phang said this was yet another incident of an abuse of the court process. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A drug trafficker who is scheduled to be hanged on Friday (July 22) failed in an 11th-hour attempt on Thursday to stave off his execution.

Three days before his scheduled execution, Nazeri Lajim, 64, filed an application seeking a court declaration that the prosecution's decision to charge him with a capital offence was in breach of his constitutional rights.

He also sought a stay of his impending execution.

On Thursday, representing himself before the Court of Appeal, he asked to be given "one to two weeks" so that he can get a lawyer.

He also said that some of his 10 siblings from out of town have not met him yet.

Justice Andrew Phang, delivering the decision of the three-judge apex court, said this was yet another incident of an abuse of the court process.

He said Nazeri had failed to establish an arguable case that his constitutional rights had been breached.

Justice Phang said Nazeri had been afforded due process when represented by counsel during his trial and had been given every opportunity to present his case.

"There must come a point in time that the appellant accepts the consequences of his actions," he said.

Nazeri was convicted in August 2017 on a capital charge of possessing two bundles of drugs containing not less than 33.39g of heroin for the purpose of trafficking.

He was sentenced to the mandatory death penalty.

His appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed in July 2018.

Nazeri's current application was first heard and dismissed by the High Court on Wednesday.

In written submissions, Senior State Counsel Anandan Bala said Nazeri's application was time-barred, as it was brought more than three months after the prosecutorial decision to proceed against him for a capital charge.

Mr Bala added that the current application was filed almost a year after Nazeri and 17 other inmates of Malay ethnicity filed a similar constitutional challenge alleging racial bias, which was dismissed in December last year.

"The present application is patently unmeritorious. It is ultimately a thinly concealed attempt to stave off the lawful execution of the sentence of death imposed on the applicant," he said.

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