New Hope for Sentenced Malaysian


BANGKOK, Feb 4, 2011 (IPS) – A young Malaysian’s legal battle to escape the hangman’s noose in Singapore is finding new hope. “He has a 50-50 chance of being spared,” Madasamy Ravi, the lawyer appearing for 23-year-old Yong Vui Kong, said in a telephone interview from the city-state.

The 41-year-old lawyer, who traded a lucrative career in corporate law in 2003 to become an outspoken human rights crusader, stepped in to take up Vui Kong’s case shortly after the Malaysian was sentenced to death in December 2009 by a Singaporean court that found him guilty of trafficking 47.27 grams of heroin. Vui Kong was only 19 when arrested in mid-2007 under Singapore’s draconian Misuse of Drugs Act.

The efforts to save Vui Kong won a reprieve mid-January when the Court of Appeal reserved judgment, in what anti-death penalty activists say is the young Malaysian’s last hope. Ravi argued in the court that his client had been deprived of a fair clemency process.

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