British author facing jail in Singapore remains defiant

Alan Shadrake appeared in a packed courtroom to hear contempt of court charges levelled against him by the Attorney General following the local launch of his book "Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock". A High Court judge granted an adjournment, giving Shadrake's lawyer two weeks to further prepare for the case and another week for prosecutors to respond.

With his passport impounded to prevent him from leaving the country, the 75-year-old freelance journalist remained defiant despite facing possible imprisonment. "Whatever they do to me, it will prove whatever I say in my book," he told reporters outside the court after the hearing.

"I'm not a wimp, I'm not a coward," Shadrake added. "I want to have my day in court... I'm not running away. If I run away, it means I'm guilty."Shadrake's book features candid conversations with a retired hangman, Darshan Singh, who the author says executed some 1,000 local and foreign criminals in a career spanning nearly half a century.

Based in Malaysia and Britain, Shadrake is out on bail for the contempt charges, and is undergoing a separate investigation for criminal defamation.

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