SINGAPORE - Veteran prosecutor G. Kannan died on Tuesday (June 14) at the age of 52. He is believed to have died while on holiday with his family in Phuket.
A spokesman for his family said that they have asked for privacy to mourn.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kannan, also a senior state counsel, was a senior director of the crime division at the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).
The AGC said on Wednesday that DPP Kannan died in an accident while on overseas leave.
Mr Kannan first joined the AGC in 1995 and had over 20 years of experience as a prosecutor. He also served for five years in the legal services department in the Ministry of Manpower.
In 2018, he was awarded the Long Service Medal as part of the National Day Awards.
Attorney-General Lucien Wong said: “Mr Kannan served with distinction in his various appointments during his career in the Singapore Legal Service. He leaves behind many dear friends and colleagues in the service and the legal community who deeply mourn his passing.
“We have, with his passing, lost a remarkable and outstanding colleague.”
Some of the notable cases DPP Kannan acted on include the ongoing one against oil legend Lim Oon Kuin of Hin Leong group and the condo killer-litter crime in which Australian Andrew Gosling threw a bottle that killed a 73-year-old man.
He also handled the cases involving the leadership of the now-defunct sociopolitical website The Real Singapore, and the collapse at the Fusionopolis worksite that killed two workers.
The AGC said that DPP Kannan was part of its team that led evidence during the 2018 Committee of Inquiry into the cyber attack on SingHealth’s patient database.
It added that DPP Kannan’s deep understanding of technology and computer systems was instrumental in putting together the contributing factors of the incident and making recommendations to better protect the system against future cyber-security attacks.
DPP Kannan was also invited to be part of various United Nations and Commonwealth expert groups on cybercrime, said the AGC.
Lawyers The Straits Times spoke to said that the legal fraternity was shocked by the news and expressed their admiration for DPP Kannan.
Criminal lawyer Shashi Nathan said: "It is not just a loss to the AGC but also a loss to the criminal bar as a whole because many defence lawyers knew and worked with DPP Kannan and held him in the highest regard."
He added: "The way he conducted himself, even outside of the courtroom, is something that many people should model themselves on because he was a gentleman and a fair person."
Criminal lawyer Amolat Singh said: "He was tenacious like a bulldog, once he sank his teeth into a piece of evidence, he never gave until it was shredded to bits.
"But he also had a compassionate side, if he knew someone was going through a rough patch, he always had time to pause and inquire after one's health, well-being and how one was coping."
Mr Alfred Lim, a founding director of Fullerton Law Chambers, called DPP Kannan his mentor, teacher and friend, having known him for 20 years.
"He taught me to always prepare, prepare and prepare for hearings. To know my case, speak fearlessly, watch the judge's pen, engage the witnesses and conduct hearings with flair.
"In management, he taught me to respect everyone from top to bottom. To trust your colleagues, never micromanage, and to inspire and lead. In life, he taught me to work hard and play hard, to give my all in everything I do and to enjoy a drink or two from time to time.
"He is in a better place now and will be missed by all. We will miss his wit, charisma, booming voice and banter about football clubs."
DPP Kannan leaves behind his wife and two sons.
ST understands that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is assisting the family.