Syed Suhail Syed Zin (left) and M Ravi

22 October 2020 :

The Court of Appeal of Singapore on 16 October 2020 dismissed an application by a drug trafficker on death row for a review of his case, reminding defence counsels not to invoke the review process lightly and without reasonable basis or they will face sanctions for abusing court processes.
Syed Suhail Syed Zin, 44, was convicted in 2015 of a capital charge of possessing heroin for trafficking and was set to hang on 18 September this year. His execution was stayed at the last minute after defence lawyer M Ravi stepped in.
He sought a review of the court's 2018 decision to uphold Syed's conviction and sentence on two grounds, but the Court of Appeal on 16 October dismissed this application for a review.
Delivering the decision, Judge of Appeal Andrew Phang Boon Leong said Syed, through his lawyer, had failed to provide sufficient material and the judges were not persuaded that there had been any miscarriage of justice in the criminal proceedings.
Justice Phang also stressed that the review process is not to be invoked lightly and that defence counsels are bound not to advance grounds that are without reasonable basis.
If they do, they face the prospect of being sanctioned for abusing the process of court.
Mr Ravi alleged during a previous hearing last month that his client had been prejudiced because letters Syed wrote to his lawyer had been forwarded by the prison service to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).
He had asked for the entire AGC team to be disqualified from the case.
Responding to this, Justice Phang said Mr Ravi had made representations on this issue without filing any evidence.


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