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AGC rebuts lawyer M Ravi’s comment that public prosecutor was ‘overzealous’ in drug trafficker's case

SINGAPORE — A comment by lawyer M Ravi that the public prosecutor was "overzealous" in the prosecution of his client Gobi Avedian, who was facing drug-related charges, is "categorically false", the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said in a statement on Monday (Oct 19).

AGC rebuts lawyer M Ravi’s comment that public prosecutor was ‘overzealous’ in drug trafficker's case

Lawyer M Ravi had charged that the public prosecutor was 'overzealous' in the prosecution of his client.

  • The Attorney-General's Chambers said it is “unfortunate” that Mr Ravi has “sought to mischaracterise” the reasons for the Court of Appeal’s decision
  • Mr Ravi claimed that his counsel had been threatened
  • He asked the Law Minister to apologise to his client Gobi and review all the death penalty cases

 

SINGAPORE — A comment by lawyer M Ravi that the public prosecutor was "overzealous" in the prosecution of his client Gobi Avedian, who was facing drug-related charges, is "categorically false", the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said in a statement on Monday (Oct 19).

The AGC also took issue with Mr Ravi's assertion that the application process and the statutory mechanism put in place for the Court of Appeal to review previous decisions are “oppressive”.

Mr Ravi made those comments after the Court of Appeal overturned an earlier decision by the High Court to reduce Gobi’s drug trafficking charge to one of attempted drug importation.

The 32-year-old Malaysian drug courier was originally sentenced to 15 years’ jail and 10 strokes of the cane in 2017, but the prosecution successfully appealed in 2018 and Gobi was sentenced to hang. On Monday, the Court of Appeal reinstated his original sentence.

“The Court of Appeal in the decision issued today explicitly pointed out that its initial decision to convict the applicant was ‘correct at the time (it was) made’ and that none of the arguments considered in the decision delivered today ‘could have been made in view of the legal position as it was understood then’,” the AGC said.

“It is unfortunate that Mr Ravi has sought to mischaracterise the reasons for the decision issued by the Court of Appeal today.”

Speaking in front of the Supreme Court in a video posted on The Online Citizen’s Facebook page, Mr Ravi said: “The prosecution, in prosecuting people especially for (the) death penalty — it is extremely important that you must be fair to both sides, the accused and the state. So therefore, balancing this, the state has been overzealous in its prosecution, the public prosecutor has been overzealous in this prosecution and that has led to the death sentence of Gobi.”

“...and what is crucial to bear in mind is the numerous threats that the Government of Singapore gave me in defending Gobi,” added Mr Ravi, who claimed that his counsel had been threatened.

“The prosecution, as the court observed, ran a different case in the High Court and the Court of Appeal so therefore the fairness of the prosecution is called into question by the court itself. I ask that the Law Minister apologise to Gobi and review all the death penalty cases,” Mr Ravi said.

He also called on Members of Parliament and the Workers’ Party to introduce a motion in the House to “review the application process and the statutory mechanism which is oppressive, which targets lawyers for sanctions because a sanction can be imposed for taking up such cases”.

In overturning the High Court’s decision on Monday (Oct 19), the five-judge Court of Appeal found that the prosecution had failed to prove that Gobi was “wilfully blind” to the nature of the drugs — 40.22g of heroin that were found on him at Woodlands Checkpoint in 2014.

Gobi could now be released from jail in about four years’ time, since he has served about six years so far and stands to receive a one-third remission on his jail sentence, Mr Ravi told TODAY after Monday’s hearing.

The review came as Mr Ravi filed an application in February this year, in light of the outcome of the appeal of Nigerian Adili Chibuike Ejike, who walked free last May after the Court of Appeal squashed his conviction of importing almost 2kg of methamphetamine.

Related topics

drugs appeal AGC M Ravi court crime

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