Court of Appeal grants last-minute stay of execution to drug trafficker

A day before his scheduled execution for drug trafficking, 31-year-old Pannir Selvam a/l Pranthaman made an eleventh-hour bid on Thursday (23 May), before the very same Court of Appeal which dismissed his appeal, hoping to stave off his execution after his clemency petition had been rejected.

The reason: he intends to file a judicial review application before the High Court to challenge the clemency process, which might have been tainted, as he alleged, by the post-dating of official correspondence from the authorities rejecting his clemency petition.

The Court of Appeal – comprising Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Judge of Appeal Judith Prakash and Judge of Appeal Steven Chong – agreed to grant the stay of execution after hearing Mr Too Xing Ji, who appeared for Pannir together with Mr Lee Ji En, and Deputy Chief Prosecutor cum Senior Counsel Francis Ng for the Prosecution.

Pannir was convicted of trafficking in 51.84g of diamorphine in May 2017, and was given the death penalty as he was not granted a certificate of substantive assistance by the Public Prosecutor. His appeal against conviction was dismissed in February last year.

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