Condemned man hanged in Singapore

Dec. 1, 2005 at 7:23 PM

SINGAPORE, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Australian drug mule Van Tuong Nguyen was hanged early Friday in Singapore's Changi Prison.

Khoa Nguyen, twin brother of the executed man, waited outside the prison as the 6 a.m. deadline passed, The Age reported. He was accompanied by two childhood friends and one of his brother's lawyers.

"Mr. Nguyen failed in his appeals to the Court of Appeal and to the President for clemency," the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs said in a brief statement. "The sentence was carried out this morning at Changi Prison."

In Australia, hundreds gathered for vigils to protest the execution, including one near the primary school the brothers attended in Melbourne.

In one concession, prison officials agreed Thursday to allow Van Nguyen brief physical contact with his mother and brother in their last visit. Kim and Khoa Nguyen were allowed to hold hands with Van Tuong briefly.

Singapore's ministry of foreign affairs agreed to the physical contact after a personal appeal by Australian Prime Minister John Howard to his Singaporean counterpart, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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