Thursday Dec 1 22:50 AEDT
Singapore has denied a request for the mother of Nguyen Tuong Van to hug her condemned son before he is hanged, allowing her only to hold hands as she pays a final, limited contact visit before his execution.
Nguyen Tuong Van's mother, Kim arrives at Changi prison to say her last goodbye (Photo: AAP)
A distressed Kim Nguyen has arrived at Changi prison for a final visit with her son before he is put to death.
Ms Nguyen arrived at the prison in Singapore at 12.35pm local time (3.35pm AEDT), looking drained and tired.
None of Nguyen's other family members or friends were with his mother as she arrived at the jail.
A statement from the Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the government gave careful consideration to the personal request from Prime Minister John Howard to allow a full contact visit, but decided only a limited contact visit be permitted.
"Like many jurisdictions that authorise capital punishment, Singapore does not allow 'contact' visits between prisoners and family members. Such encounters can be traumatic and are likely to destabilise the prisoners and their family members," the statement read.
Meanwhile an Australian lawyer begun a private prosecution against the condemned drug trafficker in a last-ditch bid to prevent the execution.
Melbourne lawyer Brian Walters, SC, said the charges could allow the federal government to seek Nguyen's extradition from Singapore to Australia.
Walters has charged Nguyen with two counts of conspiring to import heroin and one count of conspiring to traffic heroin.
A summons issued for Nguyen requires him to attend Melbourne Magistrates Court on February 2 next year.
Mr Walters has sent a copy of the charges and summons to Justice Minister Chris Ellison.
"The federal government has said that Van Nguyen could not be extradited because he could not be charged. That is not the case," Mr Walters said in a statement.
"Van Nguyen has been charged, Minister Ellison has been advised and the government must act now to get a stay on the execution while extradition proceedings can begin."
Federation of Community Legal Centres executive director Pauline Spencer said a private prosecution was rarely used but was a mechanism available to any member of the public.
"They are just issued at the counter. They are filed as documents, nothing is proven and there is no prima facie case," Ms Spencer told AAP.
"The government has been saying that without charges an extradition cannot happen.
"Now this has been delivered to the Justice Minister Chris Ellison he can move to seek extradition."
Mr Walters said there was enough time for extradition proceedings to be started and therefore to stay Nguyen's execution.
He called on Senator Ellison to act quickly.
"There is enough time, whether or not people are going to move quickly is another matter, but there is enough time," he said.
Mr Walters said Nguyen could be extradited because he was not serving a custodial sentence, just waiting for a death sentence to be carried out.
"The provisions of the extradition act permit his extradition now," he said.
Mr Walters said he expected the Victorian or Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions to take over the matter if it proceeded.