Uncovering Miscarriages of Justice

A Case Commentary on Veeramani Manikam v Public Prosecutor [2015] SGHC 201

By Chan Jian Da, Roi Tan Yu Ming, Joel Jaryn Yap Shen

For three years and seven months, Mr Veeramani Manikam (“the accused”) had been in remand in Changi Prison after being sentenced by the District Judge (“DJ”) to a total of 20½ years imprisonment with 20 strokes of the cane. The accused was convicted for importing cannabis under s 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2008 Rev Ed) (“MDA”) punishable under s 33(1) of the MDA and possessing Nimetazepam, a “Class C” controlled drug, under s 8(a) of the MDA.

However, on 3rd August 2015, the accused was acquitted after Justice Chan Seng Onn (“Justice Chan”) allowed his appeal in Veeramani Manikam v Public Prosecutor [2015] SGHC 201 (“Veeramani”). The Singapore High Court accepted his account that he had no knowledge about the drugs found in the car he was driving at the time of arrest. Continue reading

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Exclusive Interview with Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, Professor Michael Hor

By Chan Jian Da (Kenneth) and Rebecca Koh

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Innocence Project (Singapore) (“IP(SG)”) members – Chan Jian Da (Kenneth), Abhinav Mohan and Jaryl Lim had the privilege of interviewing Professor Michael Hor, the Dean of University of Hong Kong’s (“HKU”) Faculty of Law.
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Silence is Not Golden: Adverse Inferences Drawn From Remaining Silent

By Tan Shi Hui Elena, Loo Tze Ting Dorothy Ann, Lim Min Li Amanda and Tan Pei Wei.

Section 261 of the Criminal Procedure Code gives the Courts the ability to draw adverse inferences from an accused’s failure to mention any fact that he may later rely on for his defence, after he has either been charged or informed that he may be prosecuted for an offence.[1] Such inferences are then “capable of amounting to… corroboration of any evidence given against the accused”.

The prejudicial effect of s 261 stems from the drawing of an adverse inference when the accused person is unfamiliar with the law. To achieve a more holistic understanding of s 261, this article will explore the rationale behind its enactment and analyse the impediments to fairness that have eventuated as a result of its implementation. It is humbly submitted that s 261 is in need of reform in order to better achieve transparency and clarify the lay misconception of what s 261 entails. Continue reading

Righting an injustice Part Three: Getting to know Mr. Mervyn Cheong

mervyn interviewIn September 2013, a student team from the Innocence Project (Singapore) took on the case of Abdul[1], who had been sentenced to imprisonment and caning for unlawful consumption of drugs. The team’s efforts played an integral role in overturning Abdul’s conviction and subsequent discharge amounting to acquittal.

None of this would be possible without the help of the Pro Bono lawyer who took up the case and ultimately worked with the Prosecutors to secure an acquittal. Today we talk with Mr Mervyn Cheong, from Eugene Thuraisingam, to find out more about him, his pro bono experiences and working with the Innocence Project (Singapore).

Today’s article marks the last of this three part series. For more updates from us, please hit the follow button located at the bottom right corner of your screen. We are also delighted to reveal that this case will be covered on a Channel 5 TV series called Verdict, which will be broadcast on 20 Jan 2015 at 10.30pm.  Continue reading

An interview with former Supreme Court Judge, Mr Kan Ting Chiu

Mr Kan Ting Chiu

Mr Kan Ting Chiu. Image credit: Supreme Court Singapore Annual Report 2011

By Vincent Ho, Teo Ho Hong, Hoang Linh Trang and Stacey Lopez

Innocence Project Members Hoang Linh Trang and Johnson Teo had the opportunity to interview former judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore, Mr Kan Ting Chiu.

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