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24 death-row inmates’ lawsuit against AG: Apex court rejects appeal and last-ditch stay of execution for prisoner

24 death-row inmates’ lawsuit against AG: Apex court rejects appeal and last-ditch stay of execution for prisoner

After some seven hours of deliberation and at a hearing that went past midnight, the Court of Appeal denied an eleventh-hour stay of execution for convicted drug trafficker Abdul Rahim Shapiee, who was among 24 death-row inmates suing the Attorney-General (AG).

This means that Abdul Rahim, 45, will be hanged on Friday (Aug 5).

The Singaporean had told the court that he filed a complaint on Wednesday against his trial lawyer for failing to call a witness to testify in his defence, which was the basis for his bid to postpone his execution.

However, the apex court judges called this an "abuse of process", that it was "plainly an afterthought" given that the argument first surfaced just days before his scheduled hanging.

The hearing, which began early on Thursday, reconvened at 2.30pm, ended at 5pm and — in an unprecedented fashion — the judges deliberated on the outcome for about seven hours until just before midnight when hearing resumed for the judgement.

Members of the public, reporters, death penalty activists and friends of the inmates were present in the courtroom, while the inmates and judges appeared over video-conferencing platform Zoom.

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