Indian in Singapore escapes death row

Singapore–An Indian national in Singapore, who was on death row for murder, was re-sentenced to life in prison by a court here Wednesday.

Gopinathan Nair Remadevi Bijukumar, 37, was also given 18 strokes of the cane for stabbing to death a Filipino prostitute, Roselyn Reyes Pascua, in March 2010, local media reported.

Pascua’s body was found in her rented room here and Bijukumar had claimed that he killed her because she refused to return him money that he had given her for sexual services.

A court of appeal here had heard the case of Bijukumar, a former shipyard worker, in May this year and then referred it to the high court.

The accused’s lawyer Shashi Nathan had sought leniency saying that his client was provoked into committing the act.

After Wednesday’s order by judge Choo Han Teck, Bijukumar became the third death row convict in Singapore to be re-sentenced to life in prison.

Previously, death was mandatory for all murder convicts in this city state. However, the law was amended to give judges sentencing discretion in select murder cases.—IANS