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Friday, May 20, 2016

S'wakian Kho Jabing executed

Sarawakian murder convict Kho Jabing was executed in Singapore today, soon after the Court of Appeal there dismissed the eleventh-hour application to block his hanging.

"We have just received word that Kho Jabing was executed at 3.30pm this afternoon," said Rachel Zeng, the campaigner of Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign.

Earlier today, the court had dismissed the final effort to save him from death row.

“You know very well the execution was to have taken place last year,” judge Chao Hick Tin told the court, Singapore’s Channel News Asia reported.

Chao said the legal system "will fall into disrepute if we allow the system to be scuttled" by allowing Kho’s application, it reported.

Kho was to be executed this morning, but the sentence was stayed following attempts by lawyers to save him.

Deputy public prosecutor Francis Ng said the multiple applications by different lawyers are “an abuse of the process”, Channel News Asia reported.

A stay of execution was granted last night, hours before the Sarawakian's scheduled hanging.

Lawyer Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss had applied to mount a legal challenge on the constitutionality of amendments to the mandatory death penalty in Singapore.

A judicial commissioner granted a temporary stay pending Chong-Aruldoss' appeal.

Final efforts to save Kho

Lawyer Gino Hardial Singh had separately filed the application challenging the court judgment on grounds of apparent bias as Court of Appeal judge Andrew Phang had sat on both of Kho’s appeal hearings.

These were among the final efforts to save Kho from death row.

Kho was convicted of murder and sentenced to mandatory death penalty on July 30, 2010, but was re-sentenced to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane after the Singaporean government reviewed its death penalty laws in 2012.

On Jan 14 last year, the Singaporean Court of Appeal however reportedly reimposed the death sentence on Kho, in an unanimous decision.

On May 12, Kho's family was informed that his execution would be scheduled for May 20.

The family had made several heart-rending appeals to spare his life, while Malaysian civil society including the Malaysian Bar submitted appeals to the Singapore High Commission supporting the family.

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