30 Oct 2005

Mother asks Queen to save Nguyen

The mother of Melbourne man Nguyen Tuong Van has written to the Queen in a desperate bid to save her son from execution.

Nguyen was caught smuggling 396 grams of heroin out of Singapore in 2002 and is expected to be executed within weeks.

The letter, written in Vietnamese and addressed to Queen Elizabeth II, was sent to Nguyen's Melbourne legal team to be forwarded to Buckingham Palace.

Nguyen's mother, Kim, was believed to have pleaded with the Queen in the letter to personally intervene in the case and ask the Singapore government to spare her son's life, The Sunday Age said.

The letter has been translated.

A family friend told The Sunday Age Mrs Nguyen was not coping well.

"She's found it all incredibly hard," a family friend said."She has suffered a lot... She suffers intensely."She's an intensely loving mother. She looks like her heart is breaking."

Nguyen's lawyers believe the execution will not take place for several weeks.Executions are usually carried out at 6am on Fridays.

Meanwhile, a friend of Van says he feels guilt over the Melbourne man's pending execution in Singapore.Nguyen had told authorities he was helping a friend repay a debt, but he did it to get his brother out of trouble.

Student Jonathan Lim backed up Nguyen's claims, saying he loaned Nguyen about $20,000 to help him pay his brother's debts.

Mr Lim told the Sunday Herald Sun Nguyen, who will be hanged within weeks, was no hardened criminal and should be spared."

Van has got a good heart," Mr Lim said."He's had a hard life and he's made a couple of bad decisions, but he's not a lifetime criminal and he deserves another chance."

Mr Lim said Nguyen had written to him from Changi prison to apologise about not being able to repay the loan."

I said, 'Don't worry about it,'" he said."I feel bad in a way because he did it to pay me back."

A prayer service will be held for Nguyen on Sunday, November 6.Nguyen's lawyer is also making a clemency bid to Singapore High Commissioner Joseph Koh.

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sour bodhi said...

erm...any special reason why she's pleading for the Queen to intercede for her son? what's the Queen got to do with him?

lost said...

I believe Australia's head of state is still the Queen of England.

However, I'm not too sure how much she can intercede, maybe as a symbolic thing, since we're all commonwealth countries?