Singapore court rejects Malaysian's appeal in high-profile execution case

Activists hold posters against the execution of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam as activists submit a clemency petition at the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 9, 2022.
PHOTO: Reuters

SINGAPORE - A Singapore court rejected on Tuesday (March 29) an appeal against the execution of a Malaysian convicted of drugs smuggling, dismissing an argument put forward by his legal team that he should be spared because he was mentally impaired.

Nagaenthran Dharmalingam has been on death row for more than a decade for trafficking about 42.7 grammes (1.5 oz) of heroin into Singapore, which has some of the world's toughest narcotics laws.

He had appealed on the grounds of mental disability and his lawyer in a previous hearing had asked for time to arrange an independent psychiatric evaluation. 

The courts had previously said Dharmalingam knew what he was doing when he committed the crime.

His plight has attracted international attention with a group of United Nations experts and British billionaire Richard Branson joining Malaysia's prime minister and human rights activists to urge Singapore to commute his death sentence.

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