Indian death row convict gets reprieve in Malaysia
In a last minute reprieve, the execution of an ethnic Indian man convicted of murder was today postponed in Malaysia on the order of the Sultan of Johor
Death row prisoner, Chandran Paskaran, 36, was to be hanged this morning despite a government decision of halting death sentences for the time being.
The execution was postponed at the eleventh hour by the prisons department on the order of Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor state, as per the media reports.
Chandran was sentenced to death in 2008 after he was found guilty by the Johor Bahru High Court for the murder of K Muthuraman in 2003. He has been in prison for the past 11 years.
The case was brought to the Court of Appeal and Federal Court following his conviction in 2008. The Federal Court turned down the appeal in 2012.
Chandran’s brother Thamotharan said he believed that the execution was suspended following a clemency appeal made by the family to the Johor Sultan.
He thanked the Malaysian-Indian NGO Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and its chairman P Waythamoorthy, who is also a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, for taking this matter up with the government.
Yesterday, Hindraf had appealed to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to delay the execution of Chandran.
The Bar Council had also called on the government to stay the execution.
Amnesty International that had called for halting Chandran’s execution today lauded the Sultan’s move and demanded an immediate moratorium on the use of capital punishment.
“The risk to his life, however, is not over, and his death sentence must be commuted immediately,” Amnesty International Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni said in a statement.
She stressed that Putrajaya must “urgently take a serious look at its practices around the death penalty”.
“A first step must be to reform the laws on mandatory death penalty for certain crimes,” she said.