KUALA LUMPUR: In an unprecedented case, death row inmate S. Prabagaran and his mother are making a judicial review application to direct the Malaysian Government to start proceedings against Singapore in the International Court of Justice over his conviction for drug trafficking.
His lead counsel N. Surendran said the application for leave was filed at the High Court registry here Monday to stop Prabagaran's execution after he was convicted for drug trafficking.
He said they filed the case in Malaysia because Prabagaran had exhausted all appeals in Singapore.
"There is no other way to save Prabagaran's life. The main grounds (cited in the application) is that fair trial was denied in Singapore," Surendran told reporters.
He said they are asking the Malaysian Government to step in as "every person has the right to a fair trial, which is guaranteed under customary international law".
Asked by the media, Surendran said the application does not mean that they are interfering in Singapore's internal matters but merely seeking justice.
In the application for leave, Prabagaran and his mother V. Eswary named the Foreign Ministry and the Malaysian Government as respondents.
Among others, they want a declaration that the respondents are legally obliged to protect and give effect to Prabagaran's right to a fair trial, life and liberty.
Eswary cried uncontrollably after the filing of the court papers.
"He is innocent and I just want his release," she said in between her sobs.
In her affidavit in support, Eswary said her son was convicted in the Singapore High Court on July 22, 2014 for trafficking in 22.24gm of diamorphine.
She said Prabagaran was sentenced to death on Sept 22, 2014 under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Eswary said her son's appeal to the Singapore Court of Appeal was dismissed on Oct 2, 2015.
Prabagaran then applied to the Court of Appeal to re-open his appeal and set aside his sentence, but the motion was dismissed on Dec 2 last year.
She said that Malaysia, on its own and in exercising the protection of its nationals, is entitled to full reparation for the wrongs done.
She said that on Dec 21 last year she and members of the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign submitted a memorandum to the Malaysian Government at its high commission in Singapore to refer her son's case to ICJ based on breach of fair trial but there has been no response until now.