In a first, drug offender sentenced to death through video call in Singapore

Sneha Shah | May 20, 2020 19:18

Amid lockdown, a 37-year-old man became the first person in Singapore to be given a death sentence via Zoom video-call on May 15 due to a drug related offence. Singapore has zero-tolerance policy for illegal drugs and has hanged hundreds, including foreigners, with respect to narcotics offences over the past few decades.

Punitham Genasan, a citizen of Malaysia, received the death sentence for his role in a 2011 heroin transaction as per court documents showed. A spokesperson from Singapore’s Supreme Court in response to Reuter’s questions, said, “For the safety of all involved in the proceedings, the hearing for Public Prosecutor vs Punithan Genasan was conducted by video conferencing. It was the first criminal case where a death sentence was pronounced by remote hearing in Singapore.

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Gensan’s lawyer, Peter Fernando said that he did not object to the use of video-conferencing for Friday’s call since it was only to receive the judge’s verdict, which could be heard clearly, and no other legal arguments were presented.