LFL slams Singapore’s AGC for misrepresenting statement on ‘threatening’ letter

Lawyer for Singapore death row inmate P. Pannir Selvam’s family, N. Surendran speaks during a press conference in Petaling Jaya July 5, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Lawyer for Singapore death row inmate P. Pannir Selvam’s family, N. Surendran speaks during a press conference in Petaling Jaya July 5, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) director Melissa Sasidaran has slammed Singapore’s Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) for allegedly intentionally misinterpreting a statement she posted on July 16.

In her first statement, Melissa had accused the island-nation’s AGC of sabotage in the death row case of Malaysia’s P. Pannir Selvam and four others as well as hindering legal assistance from Malaysia for the other Malaysian prisoners.

The LFL said the letter contained an accusation directed against lawyer N. Surendran last Friday that was critical of his public comments over the cases of the five Malaysians on death row, in which it accused Surendran of making “scandalous allegations against Singapore and its legal system, including accusing Singapore of acting in total disregard of international legal norms and decent world opinion.”

News portal TODAY got a response from Singapore’s AGC whereby it denied threatening Surendran and had in fact submitted written reasons to the court objecting to requests made by Pannir’s Singapore lawyers on July 8 and 10.

This provoked Melissa’s response on Twitter.

“Please don’t deliberately misread my statement. I said the letter was sent by AGC to High Court, not to @nsurendrann personally,” Melissa tweeted over the TODAY article via her Twitter handle @melissa_ms.

Surendran is the lead Malaysian lawyer and an instructing solicitor to the Singapore lawyers representing Pannir in court.

The former Padang Serai MP is also acting as counsel for the four other Malaysians.

He previously issued a statement describing Singapore as going on an “execution binge” and was criticised for the remark by the country’s Home Affairs Ministry.

Pannir’s challenge against the clemency process is due to be heard by the High Court on Friday.

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