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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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

Righting an injustice: Innocence Project (Singapore)’s first successful case

justified square imageIn 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.

The Innocence Project (Singapore) is a student-led initiative that seeks to provide recourse to individuals who believe they have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. It is a collaborative effort between the National University of Singapore Criminal Justice Club, The Law Society of Singapore and the Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore. Members of the Innocence Project (Singapore) review and investigate claims of wrongful convictions, which include conducting interviews with applicants and witnesses, and seeking out evidence to corroborate the testimonies obtained.

In this 3-part special article, we take a look at what happened, and talk to the Innocence Project (Singapore) team behind the investigation as well as the Pro Bono lawyer who took up the case. Continue reading

The Risk of Wrongful Conviction Given Singapore’s Legal Landscape

By Mark Cheng

“It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one,” wrote Voltaire. But one, at first glance to the criminal legal system of Singapore, might have his reservations as to whether this vision, or guiding principle, holds much weight here. The alleged culprits to blame lie within our Read More