Law changes may save Indian from gallows in Singapore: report

Law changes may save Indian from gallows in Singapore: report

Proposed changes to a mandatory death sentencing law in Singapore, if approved by parliament, may save an Indian national from the gallows for killing a Filipina prostitute in 2010, a media report said today.

Bijukumar Remadevi Nair Gopinathan's appeal on the death sentence for murdering Roselyn Reyes Pascua was dismissed yesterday, the Straits Times reported.

But the former shipyard worker in Singapore might still have a chance of escaping the hangman's noose if the changes to the law, proposed in July this year, are passed by parliament, according to the report by the Singapore daily.

Defence lawyer, Shashi Nathan argued in the appeal that there was no conclusive evidence that Gopinathan had gone to rob and kill Pascua, 30, in a hotel room in 2010.
The 36-year old Gopinathan was sentenced to death in March.

While the appeals court noted that Gopinathan's version of events leading to the killing lacked credibility, the judges were not convinced that he had intended to kill the Filipina prostitute, based only on the injuries inflicted.

Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin said while grave and sudden provocation had been ruled out as a defence, "there was some provocation of sorts".

Justice Chao said as there were elements of doubts, the court would give the benefit of doubt to Gopinathan.

Gopinathan claimed that he had stabbed Pascua after she had attacked him and refused to return money he had paid for sexual services.