The European Union Delegation to Singapore has just issued the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission, and the Head of Mission of Norway:
The European Union (EU) welcomes the recent judgement in which the High Court opted for a non-capital conviction instead of the death penalty for two defendants on drug trafficking charges.
In this context, the EU calls on the Singapore authorities to halt the execution of Muhammad Ridzuan bin Mohd Ali, to commute his sentence to a non-capital sentence and to adopt a moratorium on all executions.
The EU holds a principled position against the death penalty and is opposed to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances. No compelling evidence exists to show that the death penalty serves as a deterrent to crime. Furthermore, any errors - inevitable in any legal system - are irreversible. The EU will continue in its pursuit of the abolition of the death penalty worldwide.
While it has been established by the court that Muhammad Ridzuan was just a courier, he was denied a certificate of substantial assistance by the Public Prosecutor, although he appealed against the death sentence imposed on him. Abdul Haleem however, was granted the same certificate, sparing him his life.
"The result was that two mere couriers, who participated in the same criminal enterprise received very different sentences as a result of the Public Prosecutor's determination that Abdul Haleem had provided substantial assistance, while Ridzuan had not," Eugene Thuraisingam, Muhammad Ridzuan's lawyer said.
It is not known how these decisions are made on whose life should be spared, based on the evidences given by the offenders.
Although the Court of Appeal said that the Public Prosecutor (PP) would have to show that there is a difference of material evidence provided by the two to warrant the difference in treatment, the court eventually ruled that the PP need not declare anything because it may jeopdise the operations of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).
When charged, Muhammad Ridzuan fought against his sentence, claiming that he did know know he would be receiving that much drugs from the supplier.
In May 2010, the two men had agreed to buy one 'ball' of heroin from a supplier. However, they were given a total of seven 'balls' instead, with the supplier telling them that they would be contacted from others, who would later pick up the extra bundles of heroin. Both men were caught with all the drugs in their possession.
On Wednesday, 17 May 2017, Muhammad Ridzuan's clemency appeal against his capital charge to the President was rejected.
He will be due to hang this morning at 6am.