Statement in Response to Media Queries

22 Apr 2023

1. The capital sentence of death imposed on Tangaraju s/o Suppiah (“Tangaraju”) is scheduled to be carried out on 26 April 2023.

2. Tangaraju, a 46-year-old Singaporean, was convicted of abetting the trafficking of more than one kilogramme (1,017.9 grammes) of cannabis. The Misuse of Drugs Act provides for the death penalty if the amount of cannabis trafficked is more than 500 grammes. 1,017.9 grammes of cannabis is more than twice this amount, and is sufficient to feed the addiction of about 150 abusers for a week.

3. Tangaraju was accorded full due process under the law, and had access to legal counsel throughout the process:

a. During his trial, Tangaraju claimed for the first time that his repeated requests for the assistance of an interpreter during a recording of his first statement had been denied. The High Court said this was a “bare allegation” raised for the first time during his cross-examination, which the judge found disingenuous given Tangaraju’s admission that he had made no such request for any of the other statements subsequently recorded from him.

b. Tangaraju was sentenced to capital punishment on 9 October 2018.

c. He appealed against his conviction and sentence and the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal on 14 August 2019.

4. Tangaraju’s petition to the President for clemency was unsuccessful. His application to seek permission to review the Court of Appeal’s decision was summarily dismissed on 23 February 2023.

5. Capital punishment is used only for the most serious crimes, such as the trafficking of significant quantities of drugs which cause very serious harm, not just to individual drug abusers, but also to their families and the wider society. Capital punishment is part of Singapore’s comprehensive harm prevention strategy which targets both drug demand and supply.



22 APRIL 2023