Two on death row want Hansard inclusion

PUTRAJAYA: Two inmates on death row for drug trafficking want to include the current government’s stand on the abolition of mandatory death penalty in their review applications.

Their lawyer Ramkarpal Singh told the Federal Court five-member Bench that his clients were seeking to include a Dewan Rakyat Hansard regarding the proposed death penalty amendments in their review applications.

“What we have is the position of the previous government, ” he said, adding that he needs to put forward to the court on what the position of the current government is on the abolition of the mandatory death penalty before proceeding with the review applications.

Ramkarpal then requested the court to adjourn the hearing of the review applications yesterday to enable him to get the Hansard.

But deputy public prosecutor How May Ling objected to the postponement, saying that Ramkarpal should have done it earlier.

Iranian Hamidreza Farahmand Hassan and Ranjit Singh Jit Singh, a Malaysian, filed review applications in 2018 seeking to stay the mandatory death penalty imposed on them by the High Court pending amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 to include provisions to allow the courts to use discretion to impose a sentence other than death.

Both of them were convicted for drug trafficking and they lost their appeals in the Court of Appeal and Federal Court.

Court of Appeal President Justice Rohana Yusuf, who led the Bench, said the men’s review hearing had been postponed several times while waiting for the Federal Court to decide on the death penalty challenge in another case.

She then asked Ramkarpal if he was ready to make submissions on the review applications but Ramkarpal said he was not prepared to do so yesterday.

The court did not allow the postponement of the hearing.

Following this, Ramkarpal informed the court that he was withdrawing the review applications and the court subsequently struck out the applications.

Other judges who sat on the panel were Federal Court judges Justices Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Abdul Rahman Sebli, Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Mary Lim Thiam Suan.

Outside the court, Ramkarpal told reporters that he withdrew the review applications on grounds that he needed to get the Hansard, adding that he would then get instructions from his clients on whether to file a fresh review application. — Bernama

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