A man with limited mental capacity executed this morning had no objections to his case being decided by the same man who prosecuted him, according to the public prosecutors’ office.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers, or AGC, today denied allegations that 34-year-old Nagaenthran “Nagen” Dharmalingam did not get an impartial review of his death penalty appeal due to a conflict of interest.
This came after Nagen’s mother, Panchalai Supermaniam, filed a final urgent appeal on Monday that argued Chief Justice Menon’s role in her son’s appeal “fundamentally breached” chances of a fair trial. Menon was Singapore’s attorney-general in 2010 when Nagen was convicted of trafficking heroin from Malaysia.
The AGC said that Nagen, whose IQ was believed to be 69, had not objected to Menon’s involvement since 2016 and found it “baseless” to now say he was denied a fair review.
“It was also telling that he never raised any concerns from December 2016 to just two days before his rescheduled execution, which suggests this allegation is an afterthought and not made in good faith,” AGC wrote in a release.
It also said Menon was not included in the decision-making of Nagen’s prosecution from October 2010 to June 2012.
Capital punishment critics and Nagen’s supporters expressed dismay at the basis of the dismissal.
“The application was separately labelled as ‘frivolous’, ‘vexatious’, ‘reprehensible’, ‘abusive conduct’. Is it so wrong to try and save your family’s life?” criminal justice reform group Transformative Justice Collective wrote in a statement.
“I am angry about a court system that would look at a scared mother and pontificate about the sanctity of court processes as if that’s more important, more valuable, than her son’s life,” progressive reporter Kirsten Han wrote.
The AGC noted that the “last-minute application” had been Nagen’s seventh application, not including appeals, since a previous one was dismissed in 2011.
Correction: The headline of this story has been changed to accurately reflect the statement from the Attorney-General’s Chamber.
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