SINGAPORE: DRUG COURIER GETS DEATH PENALTY AFTER ESCAPING GALLOWS LAST YEAR
October 30, 2018:
A Malaysian drug courier who escaped the gallows last year after the High Court reduced his charge, was on 25 October 2018 sentenced to the death penalty after the Court of Appeal overturned the earlier decision. (Sources: straitstimes.com, 26/10/2018)
Security guard Gobi Avedian, 30, was charged with the importation of 40.22g of heroin, but a High Court judge believed his account that he did not know the bundles he was carrying contained heroin.
Justice Lee Seiu Kin convicted Gobi on a lesser charge of attempted trafficking of a Class C drug, and sentenced him to 15 years' jail and 10 strokes of the cane last year.
Following an appeal by the prosecution, the Court of Appeal convicted him on the original charge, ruling that Gobi had failed to rebut the statutory presumption of knowledge of the nature of the drugs he was carrying.
The apex court said Gobi should have done more to find out what exactly he was tasked to carry into Singapore, but that he "simply did not bother".
The court imposed the death sentence on Gobi, who did not qualify for life imprisonment as he was not certified to have assisted the Central Narcotics Bureau in a substantive way, nor was his mental responsibility impaired.