In a unanimous decision, Singapore’s apex court on Tuesday (Apr 5) sent Malaysian Kho Jabing back to death row.
Kho, 31, had been sentenced to hang in 2010 for killing a man by striking his head with a tree branch in a botched robbery attempt. The victim sustained multiple skull fractures and died six days later.
Koh appealed in 2013, after changes to the law abolishing the mandatory death penalty in certain categories of murder and allowing judges the discretion to sentence an accused to life imprisonment with caning instead. Kho’s appeal was successful, and he was re-sentenced to life imprisonment with 24 strokes of the cane.
But the prosecution appealed, urging the Court of Appeal to reverse the re-sentencing judge’s decision and send Kho back to the gallows. They were successful, and Kho was sentenced to death in January 2015.
In a last-ditch attempt to save Kho from the gallows, his lawyer Chandra Mohan K Nair said in November last year that his client’s latest appeal was “concerned with matters of fundamental constitutional importance”, as Kho’s right to “a fair trial and fair sentencing” were not addressed at the previous hearing.