SINGAPORE: DRUG OFFENDER ON DEATH ROW GETS LIFE SENTENCE
March 3, 2014: A drug trafficker sentenced to death in Singapore was re-sentenced to life imprisonment, making him the first person to qualify for an exception under the revised Misuse of Drugs Act.
The High Court found that Dinesh Pillai K Raja Retnam had proven, "on a balance of probabilities, that he only played the role of a courier within the meaning of the revised law". Dinesh Pillai was found to be suffering from "such abnormality of mind as substantially impaired his mental responsibility for his acts within the meaning of revised law".
He was psychiatrically assessed to be suffering from major depressive disorder of moderate severity at and around the time of the offence. A medical examination also suggested some degree of organic damage to his brain.
A statement from the Attorney-General's Chambers added that the High Court's finding â that Dinesh Pillai qualified for the diminished responsibility exception â was "consistent with Parliament's intent in ensuring this exception operates in a measured and narrowly defined way".
The exception, the statement said, extends latitude for consideration in cases like Dinesh Pillai's without undermining the government's zero-tolerance policy towards drugs.Â (Sources: channelnewsasia.com, 03/03/2014)