Home News High Court dismisses application by 22 death row inmates in Changi Prison

High Court dismisses application by 22 death row inmates in Changi Prison

Application concerned disclosure of documents exchanged between inmates and lawyers

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Singapore— Human rights lawyer Ravi M Ravi said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Mar 16) that an application from 22 death row inmates in Changi Prison had been dismissed by the High Court. 
He wrote that the application concerned the unauthorised disclosure of privileged and confidential documents, including letters, to and from the inmates to their lawyers.

The application was dismissed “on the basis that they are prohibited under the Government Proceeding Act”, he added.

The lawyer wrote: “The court observed that the AG has admitted requesting the documents from the prison. 

I submitted that there should be no order as to costs, while the Government a nominal cost order. 

In the end, the court ordered $10 in costs against the inmates. That’s right, it’s ten dollars in costs!”

Mr Ravi represents the 22 inmates on death row while Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng from Wong Partnership represented the Government.

Among the 22 inmates is Gobi Avendian, whose death sentence was overturned last year.

The other inmates are: Syed Suhail Syed Zin, G, Datchinamurthy Kataiah, Moad Fadzir Mustaffa, Hamzah Ibrahim, Iskandar Rahmat, Lingkesvaran Rajendaren, Norasharee Gous, Nazeri Lajim, Saminathan Selvaraju, Rosman Abdullah, Roslan Bakar, Masoud Rahimi Mehrzad, Zamri Mohd Tahir, Pannir Selvam Pranthaman, Fazali Mohamed, Rahmat Karimon, Tan Kay Yong, Ramdhan Lajis, Jumaat Mohamed Sayed, Tangaraju Suppiah and Muhammad Faizal Mohd Shariff.

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A report on straitstimes.com (ST) says that the inmates have contemplated  filing a lawsuit because the letters between them and their lawyers, as well as those between them and their families, were forwarded by the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC). 

According to Justice See Kee Oon, who handed down his judgment on March 16, the inmates are prevented from applications for pre-action disclosures against the Attorney-General.

The judge also said that the Attorney-General already revealed all the letters received by the AGC and confirmed that the correspondence was not used for the purpose of legal advantage.

“In my view, the voluntary disclosures made by the Attorney-General already provide the plaintiffs with sufficient documents and information to mount their contemplated claims as they may deem fit,” said Justice See.

The judge noted that a previous court ruling had said the Prisons Regulations allow copies of letters of inmates to be made for screening and recording purposes, the prisons are not allowed to forward these to the AGC, which needs to obtain an order from the court, or the prisoner’s consent, to have copies of the letters.

But the judge added, “However, the court also accepted that the incident had ultimately resulted due to an oversight on the part of the AGC and was not an attempt to seek an advantage in the proceedings.”

/TISG

Read also: M Ravi helps tackle Tencent in his first international human rights case

M Ravi helps tackle Tencent in his first international human rights case

 

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