Nagaenthran saved from execution for now

SINGAPORE, Nov 8 – The High Court here today ordered a stay of execution to Malaysian Nagaenthran K. Dharmallingam who had been scheduled to go through his sentence of death by execution this Wednesday, Nov 10 for a drug conviction.

The stay order has been granted in pending of the hearing of the appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the High Court, the case lawyer M. Ravi announced on his Facebook today.

Nagaenthran, 33, was convicted of trafficking 42.72g of heroin in Singapore in April 2009 while entering Singapore from Malaysia at the Woodlands Checkpoint. He was sentenced to death by hanging in November 2010. All his subsequent appeals to reduce his sentence to life imprisonment were dismissed.

Today’s news follows extensive campaigning including in international media, with activists pleading to Singapore to spare the life of Nagaenthran, who has intellectual disabilities. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also wrote a letter to his Singapore counterpart, seeking leniency on the death sentence for Nagaenthran.

The Johor Indian community making their plea for Nagaenthran. Photo courtesy of savenagenthran Facebook.

During the trial, his lawyers argued that Nagaenthran should not have been sentenced to death under Singaporean law because he was incapable of understanding his actions. A psychologist assessed his IQ to be 69, which is internationally recognized as an intellectual disability.