Just days ahead of the verdict in his trial, expected on 3 November, British journalist Alan Shadrake defends his book, insists on his innocence and explains his motives.
Justice Singapore Style
I am being prosecuted and facing jail for exposing prosecutorial scandals in Singapore – scandals this PAP dictatorship doesn’t want decent Singaporean citizens to know about. One particular heinous scandal concerns Guiga Lyes Ben Laroussi, a Tunisian and valuable ‘foreign talent’ who was the main drug supplier to Singapore’s so-called High Society Drug Circle in 2004.
This destroyer of lives was allowed to escape Singapore after facing a mandatory death penalty charge. The charge was then ‘negotiated down so he would receive a jail sentence of between 20 and 30 years in prison instead.
Then another miracle happened: He was allowed bail in the sum of $280,000, given his passport back and allowed to leave Singapore. This could only have been done with the connivance of top government officials because they feared he would expose bigger names if he were to be sent to the gallows.
I exposed this and other prosecutorial scandals in my book Once A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock, because I hate injustice. While this evil drug baron – friend of the rich and privileged in Singapore - is enjoying his life of luxury in his mansion on his family estate in Le Bardo, Tunisia, Singapore is preparing to hang more pitiful drug mules – perhaps some who helped Guiga get rich.
How is it that this evil drug trader managed to escape justice? I cannot get my passport back and be allowed to leave Singapore. They are determined to punish me first!
I am facing a six months prison sentence for exposing this and many other prosecutorial scandals. There are two other charges hanging over me arising from my book one of which carries as two year prison sentence. My medical and mental problems have been horrendous. I almost bled to death in the street six weeks ago from internal haemorrhage. Had I not been rushed to hospital I would have collapsed and died without anyone knowing the cause until it was too late.
Where is the justice in what they are now doing to me? Did anyone notice that Guiga Lyes Ben Laroussi had escaped justice? Did the Straits Times publish this scandal and demand with massive headlines that Guiga should be extradited back? It did not. Why not? The answer is in my book. But what happened when a Romanian diplomat ran away in March 2010 following a fatal traffic accident? Screaming headlines in the Straits Times and all the local media for him to be brought back and tried.
Guiga Lyes Ben Laroussi, big time destroyer of lives – including his own Singaporean girlfriend, Mariana Abdullah – has been on Interpol’s wanted list for five years. The head of Interpol is Singapore’s very own former police chief Khoo Boon Hui! No attempt has been made to bring him back. His lawyer, Subhas Anandan, has said his powerful family will tell the Tunisian police to ‘go fly a kite’ if they attempt to arrest and have him extradited.
This is yet another scandal in this saga. Perhaps I would have been better treated had I been a major drug syndicate boss.
Amazingly, Law Minister, Mr. K. Shanmugam recently told TODAY that the death penalty for drug offences here is a “trade-off” the government must make to protect “thousands of lives” if drugs became freely available. He further explained that if Yong Vui Kong (now on death row with 36 others) escapes the death penalty, drug lords will see it as a sign that young traffickers will be spared and will then use more of them as drug mules. “You save one life here, but 10 other lives will be gone. What will your choice be?” he added.
My choice, Mr. Shanmugam? If anyone has to be hanged, start with drug barons like Guiga Ben Laroussi!
Here are some of those young people Mr. Shanmugam believes should have been hanged: Flor Contemplacion, Angel Mou Pui-Peng, Vignes Mourthi, Shangmugam Murugesu, Amara Tochi, Thiru Selvam, Zulfikar bin Mustaffah, Rozman Jusoh, Chuek Mei-mei, Nguyen Van Tuong, Tsang Kai Mong Elke, Poon Yuen-chung. I will continue my fight to get justice for all of the above and those who are bound to follow and I will remain a thorn in Singapore’s side regarding injustice until the day I die!
Alan Shadrake A Prisoner of Singapore October 29, 2010