Rushed Appeal Hearings in Nagaenthran’s case fixed for 9th November through late evening court directions are a blatant denial of due process
8 November 2021
I refer to the stay of execution granted by the Singapore High Court in Nagaenthran’s case staying the 10th of November execution date.
We are dismayed that within hours of the stay being granted, the court has fixed 9th November 2021 2:30pm for hearing of the appeal. Another application filed today by Nagaenthran’s lawyers for a psychiatric assessment of his deteriorating mental state has also been fixed for 2.30pm on 9th November. If both matters are dismissed, then the stay order would no longer have effect.
These court directions have unusually all come late in the evening today.
Incredibly and unreasonably the court of appeal has directed late this evening that written submissions and affidavits must be filed by 10am on 9th November morning. No lawyer can be reasonably expected to file written submissions and prepare and file affidavits overnight. It is a plainly absurd direction from the court with what appears to be the pre-determined intent to dismiss both sets of hearings on 9th November.
These unreasonable court directions and unholy rush to have both hearings heard in less than 24 hours amounts to a blatant denial of due process to Nagaenthran contrary to Article 9 of the Singapore Constitution. No criminal justice system in any country which upholds the rule of law, rushes through criminal appeals in this manner; and all the more so in a death penalty case.
What is the need for this disturbing hurry? Is it to enable Nagaenthran to be executed on 10th November in defiance of civilised opinion?
We strongly urge that Nagaenthran’s lawyers be given adequate and reasonable time to prepare their case which involves complex issues and the life of a mentally disabled human being. And meanwhile the stay of execution granted today must be maintained until these hearings are properly and fairly disposed off. To do otherwise, will do irremediable damage to the reputation of the Singapore judiciary and government.
Lawyers for Liberty