Man to be hung after being caught with 2 lbs of weed says cops coerced him

A man has been sentenced to death after being caught with two pounds (roughly 1 kg) of cannabis.

41-year-old Omar Yacob Bamadhaj from Singapore was sentenced to death by hanging in February. Last week a court dismissed his appeal, thus he is set to die.

He was nabbed by police back in 2018 during a routine checkpoint search, attempting to smuggle the drugs into Singapore. His dad, who was driving the car, did not know about the drugs.

When questioned about the bundled up weed in the boot, Omar explained that it was "plants for herbs" which did not fool the cops.

Omar continued to plead his innocence at trial, explaining in court that he didn't know what was in the packages and that two mates had put them there.

However, in a statement given to police on the day of the arrest, Omar was alleged to have admitted to knowing what the packages were, explaining that he was "desperate for money" and didn't want to do it.

Prosecutors said that he had actually pre-ordered the drugs to a mosque in Malaysia and picked them up when he and his dad drove out of Singapore to buy groceries and attend evening prayers.

He was alleged to have dropped his dad off at his brother's school before running his errand.

During last week's appeal, Omar's lawyers argued that there was reasonable doubt as it was "difficult to conclude that he planned all this".

Omar also argued that narcotics officers coerced him into a confession on the day, alleging that they said: "If you refuse to admit to this, I will throw both you and your father to be hanged."

The judge pointed out that Omar waited almost a week to withdraw the confession, and that he had spoken to two different officers.

The Court of Appeal consequently dismissed the case.

Cannabis is a Class A drug in Singapore, meaning that possession, consumption, importing and exporting is strictly prohibited.

Human rights organisations have long been critical of the city-state's death penalty laws.

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