Landmark Singapore Case: Muhammad bin Kadar and another v Public Prosecutor

This is a slightly delayed post on an important 2011 decision by the Singapore Court of Appeal which addresses the duties of investigators and prosecutors, and which will have important implications on the prevention of wrongful convictions.

In the case of Muhammad bin Kadar and another v Public Prosecutor [2011] SGCA 32, the Singapore Court of Appeal overturned the conviction of one of the accused, Ismil Kadar. Among others, the Court found that the investigator had failed to observe legal and administrative procedure without good reason when recording Ismil’s statements.

The Court was also critical of the Prosecution’s conduct, noting that it had failed to provide “vital” pieces of evidence to the Defence and the Court in a timely manner. It highlighted the important role played by the Prosecution:

“[…] the duty of the Prosecution is not to secure a conviction at all costs. Rather, the Prosecution owes a duty to the court and to the wider public to ensure that only the guilty are convicted, and that all relevant material is placed before the court to assist it in its determination of the truth.”

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