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Singapore top executioner 'fired'

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Singapore top executioner 'fired'

 

 

Singapore's chief executioner says he has been sacked after his identity was exposed by the media. Darshan Singh's name and photo appeared in the Australian press just days before he was due to execute a Melbourne man for drugs smuggling.

 

Australia has appealed for clemency on behalf of Nguyen Tuong Van, who is scheduled to be hanged on 2 December. Mr Singh, 74, is reported to have conducted more than 850 hangings in his 50-year career.

 

Political support

 

"They called me a few days ago and said I don't have to hang Nguyen and that I don't have to work anymore," Mr Singh told Reuters news agency. "I think [the prison authorities] must be mad after seeing my pictures in the newspapers."

 

Australia's Sunday Telegraph newspaper said a new hangman was expected to be flown in to carry out Nguyen's execution. The 25-year-old was convicted of trafficking 400 grams (14.11 ounces) of heroin in 2002 after he was arrested while on transit at Singapore's Changi airport. Nguyen's case has aroused strong feelings in Australia and Prime Minister John Howard has intervened on his behalf.

 

Singapore has some of the harshest anti-drug laws in the world.

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