Michael Karras, 38, of Adelaide is likely to escape execution after being arrested in Singapore in possession of 495g of cannabis in January, just 5g under the death penalty limit. Mr. Karras had actually been caught with 990g, but officers from the Central Narcotics Bureau had been told that they were “hanging too many Australians.” Therefore a special officer, who had poor skills in using a mass balance, was called in to do the weighing. As his maths was poor, he counted the 500g mass as a 5g mass, yielding the suspicious cannabis weight of 495g. This is expected to save the Singapore government much consternation that would have arisen had they executed the Australian. Internal pressure is now mounting in the CNB to wriggle the Australian out of the mandatory 5-stroke caning penalty. Australian Prime Minister John Howard confirmed that Singaporean officers “might not know how to use a mass balance” and is demanding a full pardon for the trafficker.
CNB officers discard enough cannabis to put Australian just below death limit