Vui Kong given extension to file clemency, Shadrake’s trial postponed

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The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) has granted an extension to death row inmate Yong Vui Kong to file his clemency appeal to the President.

In a letter on 25 August to Yong’s lawyer, the SPS said, “[In] view of your stated intention to file the said Notice of Appeal in respect of the said matter, we will extend the present time limit for the filing of your client’s fresh Petition for Clemency.”

Mr M Ravi, who is acting for Yong, had written to the SPS on 18 August asking for a confirmation about such an extension, in light of Justice Steven Chong’s invitation to the SPS to give Yong more time pending his appeal to the Court on Justice Chong’s 13 August judgement.

Yong’s original deadline for filing his Petition for Clemency to the President was 26 August. It was feared that he would be hanged soon after that deadline.

The SPS said in its letter that it will inform Mr Ravi of the date within which Mr Ravi should file the clemency appeal.

Mr Ravi submitted the Notice of Appeal  with regards to Justice Chong’s judgement at the Court of Appeal today, 25 August.

The confirmation of extension comes as a relief to Mr Ravi who had repeatedly asked the SPS for the confirmation since 18 August.

Shadrake’s trial postponed

Separately, also on 25 August, a pre-trial conference was held in Court with regards to the trial of Mr Alan Shadrake, investigative journalist and author of the book, Once A Jolly Hangman.

The Singapore Government had arrested Mr Shadrake on 18 July for alledged criminal defamation and contempt of court. He has since been charged for contempt but not for criminal defamation. The Attorney General is arguing, particularly, that 14 passages in Mr Shadrake’s book have “scandalized” Singapore’s judiciary.

Mr Shadrake has filed his affidavit in which he rejected the charges.

Mr Shadrake’s trial was originally scheduled to take place on 30 August. It has now been postponed to October. Three days have been slated for the trial.

The hearing dates will be confirmed at a pre-trial hearing on 21 September.