ABC News Online
Howard urged to pressure Singapore on death penalty
A barrister who represented a Melbourne man hanged in Singapore last year is calling on Prime Minister John Howard to raise the issue when he meets with his Singaporean counterpart tomorrow.
Lex Lasry, QC [pictured], represented 23-year-old Van Nguyen, who was arrested in Singapore in 2002 on drugs charges.
He was executed last year after an appeal for clemency was rejected.
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives in Australia tomorrow for trade and security talks with Mr Howard.
Mr Lasry says he wants Mr Howard to join a campaign to change Singapore's law regarding the death penalty.
"It operated very unfairly in the case of Van Nguyen," he said.
"Lee Hsien Loong said that the rule of law had taken its course when Van Nguyen was executed but it wasn't the rule of law at all.
"The only thing that's even worse than a death penalty is a mandatory death penalty which takes the courts out of the equation.
"Ultimately I say that Singapore will have to change that law, it's an extraordinarily unfair law."