Singapore AGC files disciplinary complaint against lawyer representing Malaysian who escaped gallows

The Attorney-General's Chambers said lawyer M. Ravi's behaviour ‘falls short of the standards of professional conduct to be expected from an advocate and solicitor of the court’. ― TODAY file pic
The Attorney-General's Chambers said lawyer M. Ravi's behaviour ‘falls short of the standards of professional conduct to be expected from an advocate and solicitor of the court’. ― TODAY file pic

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SINGAPORE, Oct 24 — The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has filed a disciplinary complaint against lawyer M Ravi to the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc), saying his behaviour “falls short of the standards of professional conduct to be expected from an advocate and solicitor of the court”.

In a statement yesterday, AGC said the complaint relates to possible professional misconduct by Ravi. The lawyer had made several allegations in a video interview on Monday, where he was commenting on the prosecution of his client Gobi Avedian, who faced drug-related charges.

On Monday, the 32-year-old Malaysian had escaped the gallows as the Court of Appeal had reviewed an earlier decision to give him the death penalty, and reinstated his original High Court sentence of 15 years’ jail and 10 strokes of the cane.

In the interview posted on The Online Citizen’s Facebook page, 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.”

In its statement yesterday, AGC said: “Mr Ravi made serious allegations insinuating that the Public Prosecutor had acted in bad faith or maliciously... and that this alleged misconduct led to the imposition of the death sentence on (Gobi).

“The Court of Appeal made no such adverse findings against the Public Prosecutor. Mr Ravi’s allegations are false, misleading, and unfairly and illegitimately discredit AGC.”

It added: “As the matter is now pending before the Law Society, AGC will not be commenting further.”

The statement is the latest development in a series of exchanges between the AGC and the human rights lawyer over the matter.

On Tuesday, the AGC had written a letter to Ravi, demanding that he apologise and unconditionally retract allegations he had made about the public prosecutor.

The next day, Ravi replied to the AGC that he will not apologise. Denying that the comments he made were false, he instead sought a public apology from the state prosecutors on behalf of his client Gobi and his family.

Ravi said that his client had instructed him to seek a public apology from the prosecutors for the “ordeal” Gobi has suffered as a result of the prosecutors’ conduct.

He also notified Deputy Attorney-General Hri Kumar that he had been instructed by Gobi and his family to take legal action against Kumar, Attorney-General Lucien Wong and the prosecutors who worked on the case.

The AGC yesterday sent a letter to Ravi, a copy of which he provided to TODAY, that it had referred the matter to the LawSoc and will not agree to Ravi’s demands.

“We reject the assertions in your response and will not be acceding to any of your demands therein,” Kumar wrote. ― TODAY

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