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S'pore court grants M'sian drug mule stay of execution

The Singapore Court of Appeal today granted Malaysian P Pannir Selvam's application to stay his execution and enable him to challenge the clemency process.

Pannir, 32, who was represented by counsel Too Xing Ji and Lee Ji En, was scheduled to be executed at dawn tomorrow.

He filed the stay application from prison pending a challenge upon the rejection of clemency.

The letter from the Singapore president refusing clemency and the notification of execution were both dated May 17, 2019, but the letter notifying his family of the execution was posted on May 16, 2019.

Pannir's application was heard before Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and two Judges of Appeal, Judith Prakash and Steven Chong.

In his decision, Menon said Pannir "ought to have reasonable opportunity to take advice on whether he can mount a successful challenge."

"In the way in which matter transpired, he was notified of both the rejection of his clemency petition and scheduled date of the execution sentence just one week in advance."

The judges also took into consideration that Too only came into the picture as Pannir's lawyer today.

"To be fair to him, we could not expect him to be in a position to mount a fully developed argument. 

"In the circumstances we think that the execution should be stayed until further order.

Pannir was convicted on June 27, 2017 by the Singapore High Court for trafficking in 51.84 g of diamorphine at Woodlands Checkpoint on Sept 3, 2014.

Also present at the court were his family and Lawyers for Liberty executive director Latheefa Koya and adviser N Surendran.

Earlier today, Surendran tweeted: "Stay of execution of Pannir Selvam has just been granted by Spore Court of Appeal!"

Meanwhile, Pannir's father R Pranthaman was overjoyed with the Singapore Court of Appeal's decision to stay the execution, saying he was praying hard that it would not be shortlived.

Pannir Selvam's family had previously turned to Putrajaya to save him, after their final clemency appeal to Singapore President Halimah Yacob failed.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said the government was working to try and convince Singapore to spare Pannir Selvam from execution.

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