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M'sian sultan halts execution of death row inmate

Publication Date : 07-02-2014

 

The execution of death-row prisoner P. Chandran scheduled for early Friday was halted, after a reprieve by the Sultan of Johor following pleas from the family.

Chandran's brother Thamotharan said he received a phone call late Thursday from an official of the prisons department.

"They told me that the sentence has been postponed and that the authorities would look into the case.

"I was also informed that the decision to postpone his sentence came following orders from the Sultan of Johor yesterday (Thursday) evening," he said, adding that the entire family was extremely grateful to the sultan.

Thamotharan said he was made to understand that Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairman P. Waythamoorthy, who is also deputy minister in the prime minister’s department, had informed Prime Minister Najib Razak on the issue.

"We are grateful to them as well as every other organisation and members of the public who stood by us for a pardon for Chandran on his death sentence," he added.

Last year, United Nations member states, during the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, unanimously requested the Malaysian Government to review capital punishment.

Hindraf national secretary P. Ramesh said, following this, the government had agreed to present a report to the UN's Human Rights Council next month.

"This issue was brought up not less than four years ago, which was when the government decided to put all death sentences on hold.

"This sudden move to carry out Chandran's death sentence did not make sense as they (the Government) was supposed to present a report this March," he said.

In 2003, Chandran and 11 others were acquitted for the murder of one K. Muthuraman in Ulu Tiram, Johor Baru.

However, following several hearings, only Chandran, then 25, charged with the murder.

After being sentenced to death in the Johor Baru High Court in 2008, Chandran appealed to Appeals and Federal Courts, but both were dismissed.

Chandran, who has been imprisoned for the last 11 years, was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code.

 

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