Singapore — Lawyer M Ravi announced on his Facebook page on Monday (Dec 28) that he had been instructed to represent a Singaporean convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in Vietnam.
According to Mr Ravi, the family of Cher Wei Hon contacted him “after Aslinda’s case came to the public attention”.
The lawyer is also representing Siti Aslinda binte Junaidi. She is also a Singaporean and is facing the death penalty in China after also being convicted of drug trafficking.
Mr Ravi added that he is representing Cher pro bono, as the latter has three young children who are being taken care of by his ailing mother.
“It is very sad that he does not have any lawyers currently on board giving him proper advice on his appeal according to his family. They were not sure even if he had a lawyer during his trial,” he said in his Facebook post.
He added that he hoped to “get to the bottom” of Cher’s case and that he had reached out to a human rights lawyer in Vietnam.
“Vietnam conducts their death penalty through lethal injections …
“Another case that reveals that death penalty targets the poor. Before one can judge Cher’s innocence it is important that he has proper legal representation and a fair process that metes out the punishment.”
Cher was sentenced to death by the Tay Ninh People’s Court on Aug 7 this year. He had been convicted of smuggling 10 kg of methamphetamines from Cambodia.
The 40-year-old Singaporean was living in Ho Chi Minh City at the time of his arrest.
Cher’s indictment said that in the early morning hours of June 29, 2019, he was in a vehicle driven by Mr Duong Hung Tam, 27, a Vietnamese.
The Southern Drug Prevention Special Force, in cooperation with the Border Guard Station at Moc Bai Tay Ninh province bordering Ho Chi Minh City, stopped and searched the vehicle.
The police say that 9.95 kg of meth were found in the car. The Singaporean was on the way to Ho Chi Minh City to deliver the drugs, according to Vietnamese news site VN Express.
Cher said he had borrowed VND200 million (S$11,400) from a woman named Ms Quynh in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and worked for her to pay off the debt.
Ms Quynh initially had him bring iPhones and iPads from Cambodia to Vietnam, but later had him running drugs between the two countries for S$665 to S$1,300 per trip. He went back and forth five times before getting caught.
At the time of Cher’s arrest, no connection was found between him and Mr Tam, and so the latter was released. Ms Quynh is still at large.
In Vietnam, anyone convicted of possession or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kg of meth are sentenced to death. Those found guilty of producing or selling 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics are also sentenced to death. /TISG