The two lawyers who acted for executed Malaysian drug trafficker Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam were yesterday ordered to pay S$20,000 (about RM64,000) in costs to the Singapore Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
According to a report in The Straits Times, the AGC had originally sought personal costs totalling S$40,000 against M Ravi and Violet Netto for delaying Nagaenthran’s execution by filing “unmeritorious applications”, which caused the court to incur unnecessary costs.
A five-member Court of Appeal panel led by chief justice Sundaresh Menon yesterday said it would be apparent to any “reasonable defence counsel that the case advanced by the duo lacked factual basis”.
Instead of putting their best case forward at the first instance, it said, the lawyers “drip fed” the supposed evidence and tendered documents at the last possible moment.
Nagaenthran, who was executed on April 27, had been on death row since 2010 for smuggling 42.7gm of heroin into Singapore.
During the trial, he was declared to be a person suffering from an intellectual disability with an IQ of 69.
However, the court found him to be not “substantially impaired” and that he knew fully well that he was carrying out an illegal act, according to reports.
Days before he was scheduled to be hanged on Nov 10 last year, Ravi filed an application seeking judicial review of the impending execution.
Arguing that Nagaenthran was mentally disabled, he also filed another application asking for a stay of execution to allow Nagaenthran to be assessed by a panel of psychiatrists.
However, the court dismissed the legal actions, saying the case was baseless and that there was no admissible evidence of any decline in Nagaenthran’s mental condition.
It also said the proceedings amounted to an abuse of the court’s processes and were seemingly conducted with the aim of delaying the execution.