Monday, November 28, 2005


There’s growing storm in Australia after Prime Minister John Howard has said he would attend a cricket match on the day that Australian Van Nguyen is hanged in Singapore.

Mr Howard, who maintains all efforts to save Nguyen have been exhausted, said he had an obligation as host to attend the Prime Minister's XI cricket match on Friday.

Nguyen will hang in Singapore's Changi prison at dawn on Friday after he admitted smuggling heroin to repay debts owed by his twin brother Khoa.

Australian Democrats senator Natasha Stott Despoja said she felt sickened by the prospect that Mr Howard would attend the game.

"This is about how Australians and the rest of the world, including the people of Singapore, will view our response to this horrendous act," she said.

Nguyen was arrested in Singapore's Changi Airport in December 2002 while trying to board a flight to Australia with 396 grams of heroin strapped to his body and in his hand luggage.

He was sentenced to death despite cooperating with drug investigations by authorities in Singapore and Australia.

The Prime Minister has rejected a call from Opposition leader Kim Beazley to send a last-ditch mission to Singapore to try to stop the execution.

The hanging of Van Nguyen wasn't formally raised at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta, but John Howard did speak to his Singaporean counterpart.

Tuong Van Nguyen met his identical twin a few days ago for the first time since strapping heroin to his body three years ago in a foolhardy mission to pay off his brother's debts.

On Friday December 2, Van will be hanged for his decision.

(from various news sources)

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