09 November 2021 :
Singapore’s High Court on 8 November 2021 suspended the scheduled execution of a Malaysian man believed to be mentally disabled until an appeal is heard, amid pleas from the international community and rights groups.
Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, 33, was due to be executed by hanging on 10 November for trying to smuggle less than 43 grams (1.5 ounces) of heroin into the country.
The court granted a stay of the execution after Nagaenthran’s defense lawyer, M. Ravi, argued that capital punishment for a mentally disabled person was a violation of Singapore’s Constitution.
Ravi’s application was dismissed, but the stay on the execution was granted “pending the hearing of the appeal to the Court of Appeal,” Singapore’s top court, the lawyer said on Facebook.
The appeal is scheduled to be heard in court on 9 November. If this fails, the stay will be lifted and Nagaenthran could be executed as scheduled.
Narcotics officers found a small bundle of heroin strapped to Nagaenthran’s left thigh at a checkpoint more than a decade ago. He was sentenced to death in November 2010 under the country’s strict drug laws. A previous appeal to reduce the penalty to life in prison failed and a final push for presidential clemency was rejected last year.
Death penalty opponents say Nagaenthran’s IQ was disclosed during a trial at the High Court as 69, a level that is internationally recognized as an intellectual disability.
But the court ruled that Nagaenthran knew what he was doing and upheld the death sentence.