Malaysian drug trafficker hanged

Last-ditch bid to avoid gallows dismissed by Court of Appeal, which called it abuse of process

A 29-year-old Malaysian convicted three years ago of importing 22.24g of heroin into Singapore was hanged yesterday morning at Changi Prison, after his eleventh-hour bid to stave off his execution was denied by the Court of Appeal on Thursday afternoon.

Prabagaran Srivijayan was arrested in April 2012 at Woodlands Checkpoint after two packets containing the drugs were recovered from the Malaysian-registered Hyundai Sonata he was driving.

He was convicted by the High Court and sentenced to death in September 2014.

The Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) provides for the death penalty if the amount of heroin imported is more than 15g.

Prabagaran's appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in October 2015.

He then tried to get the apex court to reopen his case by challenging the constitutionality of provisions in the MDA but failed last December.

Prabagaran then went to the Malaysian courts, seeking to compel the Malaysian government to institute proceedings against Singapore in the International Court of Justice.

His application for leave was dismissed by Malaysia's High Court in March, and he appealed to Malaysia's Court of Appeal, which has yet to give its decision.

  • 22.24g

    Weight of heroin found on the convicted drug trafficker in 2012


    Number of heroin addicts that this amount would feed for a week

On Tuesday, he took his case to Singapore's Court of Appeal for the third time by filing a motion to stay his execution, scheduled for yesterday, on grounds that he had a pending appeal in the Malaysian courts.

On Wednesday, the United Nations Human Rights Office for South-east Asia called for the execution to be halted and urged the Singapore Government to place a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

On Thursday, Singapore's Court of Appeal dismissed Prabagaran's last-ditch attempt to escape the gallows, calling it an abuse of process.

"The judiciary of each country is entitled to act in accordance with its Constitution and its laws. No judiciary of one country interferes in the judicial process of another country," said the court.

Prabagaran's petition for clemency was also unsuccessful, said a media statement from the Central Narcotics Bureau yesterday.

"Prabagaran was accorded full due process under the law, and he was represented by legal counsel throughout the process," said the statement.

The statement said the amount of heroin Prabagaran imported was equivalent to about 1,853 straws, sufficient to feed the addiction of about 265 abusers for a week.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2017, with the headline 'Malaysian drug trafficker hanged'. Print Edition | Subscribe