Lawyer M Ravi, who has been representing a number of inmates on Death Row lately, said on Wednesday (Nov 4) that he had filed a suit on behalf of Gobi Avedian against the Attorney General (AG), the AG’s office, Lucien Wong and eight other Public Prosecutors.
Mr Ravi wrote: “This suit is filed on the ground of abuse of power in the manner in which the 9 prosecutors dealt with Gobi’s case”.
“Alternatively, they have been sued for breach of statutory duty outlined in the Writ attached here where their conduct of Gobi’s case has arguably breached the duties under the various sections of the Legal Profession Act, Professional Conduct Rules, 2015”, he added.
Gobi Avedian had been originally given a death sentence for bringing drugs into the country in 2014, but the charge had been reduced to attempted drug importation. Mr Gobi’s new sentence is 15 years’ jail and 10 strokes of the cane, backdated to the beginning of his detention.
“Great news,” his lawyer, Ravi M Ravi wrote. “The Court of Appeal has set aside the death sentence of Govi Avedian on account of miscarriage of justice.”
The now 32-year-old security guard from Johor Bahru had been commuting to Singapore when he was arrested nearly six years ago. He claimed that he was unaware that the packages he brought into the country, given to him by a man named ‘Vinod’ contained heroin.
Vinod had told him of an opportunity to earn money through bringing chocolate laced with drugs into Singapore, adding that these were “ordinary” drugs that “not serious,” and that if he got caught he wound only receive “just a fine or small punishment,” reported Channel NewsAsia.
Mr Gobi, who had said no to Vinod’s initial offers, said yes to him later on as his daughter was in the hospital and needed an operation, and he had no money for it. He eventually travelled in and out of the country eight or nine times and was paid 500 ringgit (S$163) each time he delivered the drugs.
The Police arrested Mr Gobi at Woodlands Checkpoint on Dec 11, 2014. He was initially given a capital charge of importing 40.22g of heroin.
In 2017, he was acquitted of the charge by a High Court judge, who reduced it to one of attempted drug importation.
However, in the following year, this acquittal was reversed by the Court of Appeal, on the grounds of an error on the part of the High Court judge, based on an appeal from the prosecution.
But Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon together with Appeal Judges Andrew Phang, Judith Prakash, Tay Yong Kwang and Steven Chong reviewed and overturned the Court of Appeal’s 2018 decision on Oct 19.
Mr Ravi filed an application to have his case reopened in January of this year. /TISG