SINGAPORE: G Kannan, Singapore’s veteran Indian-origin prosecutor, has died while holidaying in Thailand’s Phuket island. He was 52.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kannan, who died on Tuesday, is survived by his wife and two sons. A spokesman for his family said that they have asked for privacy to mourn.
DPP Kannan, also a senior state counsel, was a senior director of the crime division at the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC). A Straits Times report stated that the prosecutor who had joined the AGC in 1995 had over 20 years of experience. In 2018, he was awarded the Long Service Medal as part of the National Day Awards.
The report quoted the AGC who said DPP Kannan was invited to be part of various United Nations and Commonwealth expert groups on cybercrime.
The legal fraternity was shocked by the news and expressed their admiration for Kannan.
Criminal lawyer Shashi Nathan said: “It is not just a loss to the AGC but also a loss to the criminal bar as a whole because many defence lawyers knew and worked with DPP Kannan and hold him in the highest regard. The way he conducted himself, even outside of the courtroom, is something that many people should model themselves on because he was a gentleman and a fair person,” said Nathan.
Criminal lawyer Amolat Singh said: “He was tenacious like a bulldog, once he sank his teeth into a piece of evidence, he never gave until it was shredded to bits. But he also had a compassionate side, if he knew someone was going through a rough patch, he always had time to pause and inquire after one’s health, well-being and how one was coping. In moments like these, he displayed a maturity far beyond his years,” The Straits Times newspaper quoted Singh as saying.
Alfred Lim, a founding director of Fullerton Law Chambers, called Kannan his mentor, teacher and friend, having known him for 20 years and worked under him at the AGC.
“He taught me to always prepare, prepare and prepare for hearings. To know my case, speak fearlessly, watch the judge’s pen, engage the witnesses and conduct hearings with flair. In management, he taught me to respect everyone from top to bottom, to trust your colleagues, never micromanage and to inspire and lead. In life, he taught me to work hard and play hard, to give my all in everything I do and to enjoy a drink or two from time to time,” Lim said.
“He is in a better place now and will be missed by all. We will miss his wit, charisma, booming voice and banter about football clubs,” Lim added.
(With inputs from online desk)