Regarding Khor Soon Lee’s appeal and an appeal for Cheong Chun Yin

18 April 2011

On Saturday, 16 April 2011, we received news that Singapore’s Court of Appeal had overturned the death sentence of Khor Soon Lee, who was convicted of drug trafficking in 2009.

According to the information reported by the press, Khor who was arrested on 9 August 2008 at Woodlands Immigration Checkpoint, was not aware that he was carrying heroine although he knew that he was carrying other drugs.

It is encouraging to hear the decision of the Court and we hope that this will not be the only case whereby other factors are taken into due consideration before a convict gets sentenced to death or before an appeal gets dismissed.

We appeal to the Court of Appeal to apply similar practice on other cases.

One example is the case of another Malaysian by the name of Cheong Chun Yin who was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in February 2010. In his statement and during the court proceedings, Cheong told the Court that he believed that he had been smuggling gold bars from Burma instead of heroin.

If the Court of Appeal was able to look through the evidence to decide that Khor had no knowledge that he was carrying heroin in his appeal, they should also be able to do the same for Cheong.

Unfortunately Cheong’s case has progressed to the last stage. He is now waiting for the President’s reply to the clemency petition that was submitted at the beginning of the year.

As time is running out, we urgently urge the authorities of Singapore to look into Cheong’s case once again and allow him one last appeal, putting into consideration the fact that he claimed no knowledge of smuggling the drug into our shores at all.

Afterall, the purpose of the legal process is to avoid punishing the innocent, and I am sure that we do not want to send an innocent man to the gallows for a crime that he did not intend to commit.

Thank you.

Rachel Zeng

Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC)