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Covid-19 : First death sentence pronounced by remote hearing in Singapore

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SINGAPORE: Singapore had its first criminal case in which a death sentence was pronounced by remote hearing on May 15, 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The case involved a Malaysian man, Punithan Genasan, 37, who was the mastermind behind the drug trafficking of 28.50g of diamorphine – in October 2011 into the republic.

“In line with measures to minimise the further spread of the COVID-19, the courts have been conducting hearings, including hearings on criminal matters remotely,” said a Supreme Court spokesperson in a statement here.

“Hence, for the safety of all involved in the proceedings, the hearing for Public Prosecutor v Punithan A/L Genasan was conducted by video conferencing. It was the first criminal case where a death sentence was pronounced by remote hearing in Singapore,” the spokesperson said.

Singapore kicked in its stricter circuit breaker measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus on April 7, and it is scheduled to end on June 1.

It was reported by a local daily that the High Court judge Chan Seng Onn, pronounced the mandatory death penalty in a hearing on video-conferencing platform Zoom.

— BERNAMA

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