Indian-origin man on death row in Singapore set free

Singapore, Feb 13 (IANS) A Malaysia-based Indian-origin man, on death row for drug possession in Singapore, has been acquitted by the country’s Supreme Court. According to the judgment released on Tuesday, 32-year-old Gopu Jaya Raman proved that he did not know that controlled drugs were hidden in the bike that he rode into Singapore in 2014, the Straits Times reported. Earlier, he had contested the High Court’s judgment for not giving “due weight to evidence” showing that he did not know about the drugs. On March 24, 2014, Raman was found trying to enter Singapore from Malaysia through Woodlands Checkpoint with three black bundles of the illicit substance diamorphine hidden in his bike’s fender. During a routine check, the police found the substance and Raman was arrested. He told police officials that he entered Singapore to meet his girlfriend along with another friend. Raman said he wasn’t aware about the drugs and the bike was not his. He said that he had stopped on his way to refuel the bike and at that time the drugs were not there. Raman, however, admitted that he had brought drugs into Singapore on two earlier occasions as he was trying to pay back a loan to the man who had gotten him the bike. Raman said the man had threatened to hurt his family if he did not traffic the drugs. After the authorities found the drugs, they asked for Raman’s help to try to nab the others in the ring who might turn up to collect the drugs. The operation, however, was called off when no one turned up at the scheduled meeting. The Supreme Court stated that there “were no material pieces of evidence to connect Raman with the drugs he possessed, and thus he was acquitted from the case”. –IANS soni/bg

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