Kovan Double Murder: Ex-Cop Iskandar will hang

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The man who awoke Singapore out of its slumber some 3 and the half years ago through a very mind-boggling and horrific murders, will have an appointment with Singapore’s hangman after all.

Former policeman Iskandar Rahmat, according to a Channel News Asia report will not be spared the noose for the Kovan double murder in July 2013 at Hillside Drive

The Court of Appeal on Friday (Feb 3) upheld his two death sentences for viciously stabbing to death Mr Tan Boon Sin, 67, and his 42-year-old son Chee Heong.

Inexplicably, the murder weapon – a knife – was never found. It something that is so very crucial that it would and could have foreclosed any doubts of a defendant’s culpability or even in some cases lead to the defendant’s complete exoneration

Justice Tay Yong Kwang had said that he had “no doubt” the former policeman, facing bankruptcy and dismissal from the force, intended to kill the elder Mr Tan for his money.

When Mr Tan’s son got home “at the most inopportune moment” and witnessed his father’s murder, “he quickly became collateral damage”, Justice Tay had said.

Father and son died of multiple stab wounds to the face, neck and chest.

The elder victim died in Iskandar’s arms, while the son managed to stagger out of the house before collapsing behind Iskandar’s getaway car in the driveway of 14J Hillside Drive.

His body was caught under the car and dragged nearly 1km before it was dislodged in front of a bus stop at Kovan MRT station, leaving a trail of blood as commuters watched in shock.

At his appeal last October, Iskandar’s defence had urged the court to consider new evidence which included a psychiatric report. It stated that Iskandar was diagnosed with two mental illnesses at the time of the murders – adjustment disorder and acute stress reaction.

There was also a forensic pathology report which said that Iskandar suffered defensive injuries, lending weight to the defence’s case that the elder Mr Tan was the aggressor, and that Iskandar had wrested the knife from his hand and killed him in self-defence.

However, prosecutors argued that the reports are “unreliable, self-serving”, having been prepared three years after the murders and more than eight months after Iskandar was sentenced to hang.

In Singapore executions are usually carried on Friday mornings in Changi Prison, when the rest of Singapore is mostly asleep. Singapore uses the Table of Drops method.

A convict facing execution can have a week-long period of visitations from family and be entitled to have a meal of his choice within the prison budget, on the eve of his fateful day. A week before his execution he would have his weight and height details taken along with a complete medical screening. On the day of his execution he would be taken from his prison cell which usually is in cluster A of the prison complex, to the gallows where a hood would be placed over his head, before he is mounted on the trap-door of a scaffold to await his final moments.

The hangman would then pull the lever situated on the scaffold for the condemned person’s body to fall through with such breakneck speed that it promises to snap his neck and vertebrae. Death, The Independent understands is instantaneous with the cause of death cited as fractured dislocation in the death certificate.

The dismissal of Iskandar’s appeal now means he can seek presidential pardon (amnesty) which rather curiously is decided by Singapore’s cabinet and then given to the president to pronounce publicly.

Amnesty for death row prisoners is rare in Singapore and throughout Singapore’s history only less than 10 people have been given stays of execution.

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