More time for Sarawakian on death row after Singapore court reserves judgment

Lenduk Ak Baling (third from left) and Jumai pose with activists campaigning for Kho Jabing’s death penalty to be reduced to life imprisonment. — Picture by Melissa Chi
Lenduk Ak Baling (third from left) and Jumai pose with activists campaigning for Kho Jabing’s death penalty to be reduced to life imprisonment. — Picture by Melissa Chi

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The fate of Kho Jabing remained uncertain today after a Singapore court reserved its judgement on the Sarawakian’s bid to review his death sentence.

The Court of Appeal did not specify a date for its decision, and according to activist Kirsten Han, this could hopefully buy more time for the 31-year-old Kho.

Jabing (pix) was accused of beating Cao Ruyin, 40, with a piece of wood, with the China national later succumbing to injuries. — Picture courtesy of Jumai Kho
Jabing (pix) was accused of beating Cao Ruyin, 40, with a piece of wood, with the China national later succumbing to injuries. — Picture courtesy of Jumai Kho

Han, who has been campaigning actively to get Kho’s sentence commuted, said with the court vacation coming up end of the month, she hopes the latest development would help the fight for the youth’s life.

“The judgment in Jabing’s case was reserved today. The stay in execution will remain until the judges decide,” the co-founder of We Believe in Second Chances told Malay Mail Online via text message in an update on the case.

The Singapore Court of Appeal earlier today heard the criminal motion filed by Kho's lawyer.

Kho, who is from Miri, is currently incarcerated in Singapore and was scheduled to hang on November 6 but was awarded a temporary reprieve less than 24 hours to his execution after his lawyer filed a criminal motion at the Singaporean Court of Appeal on November 4 for remittance.

The Sarawakian who worked as a labourer in Singapore was first convicted and sentenced to death in 2010 for the murder of China national Cao Ruyin, 40.

When amendments to the mandatory death penalty came into force in 2013, however, Kho was deemed eligible to apply for resentencing. His sentenced was later commuted to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane by the Singapore High Court.

However, a 3-2 decision at the Singapore Court of Appeal last January after the prosecution appealed sent him back to death row.

Han, as well as other activists and Kho’s sister and mother have been campaigning to garner support to pressure Singapore's president to offer clemency.

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