Published: 26 July 2021
Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs what is the process by which the Government will fulfil its assurances to the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) that Mr David Roach, who was extradited from the UK, will not suffer the punishment of caning that has been imposed on him by the Singapore courts upon his conviction for robbery of a bank in 2016.
1. The Singapore Government gave an undertaking to the Government of the United Kingdom (“UK”) that any sentence of corporal punishment imposed by a Singapore court on Mr David James Roach (“Roach”) for the offences for which his extradition was sought, would not be carried out. To fulfil this undertaking, the President, on the advice of the Cabinet, has exercised her powers under Article 22P(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore to remit the sentence of six strokes of the cane imposed on Roach.
2. It was necessary for the Singapore Government to give such an undertaking because the UK’s extradition laws would have prohibited the extradition of Roach to Singapore in the absence of such an assurance. It was in the public interest to secure Roach’s extradition to Singapore to face justice for the crimes he committed here.
3. This is not the first time such an undertaking was given to another Government. For example, in 2005, the Singapore Government gave an undertaking to the Australian Government that Briton Mr Michael McCrea (“McCrea”), who was then suspected of the 2002 Orchard Towers double murder, would not face the death penalty if convicted of murder, as Australia would not extradite suspects who could face the death penalty. McCrea was eventually convicted on offences that were not punishable with the death penalty. As a result, Singapore did not have to take further steps to comply with the assurance given to Australia.