Angel gives up hopes of 11th hour reprieve

A HONG KONG woman due to be executed in Singapore tomorrow morning has apparently given up hope of a reprieve.

Angel Mou Pui-peng, 25, yesterday signed over the custody of her nine-year-old son to her family, who are in Singapore paying her final visits.

She is said to be 'emotionally and spiritually prepared'. She gave instructions to her lawyer to dispose of her personal belongings, said to include letters and pictures, and 'things of sentimental value'.

'I think she is trying to be as composed as possible. She is stable,' said Mou's Singapore lawyer, Peter Yap.

'When I was leaving she did shed tears.' Another visitor said religion had increased Mou's strength. 'She is a Christian. She trusts God will lead her way.' Mou's 58-year-old mother and sister are to become joint custodian of Mou's son, who met Mou for the first time in three years on Tuesday. The boy was only told the fate of Mou last week.

'I think he has some level of perception of what is going on,' said Mr Yap.

A friend said Mou's mother, Wong Siu-mui, was very distressed. Before she left for Singapore this week, Mrs Wong told the South China Morning Post she hoped 'the prison door would be struck open by lightning so Angel could be saved'.

Mr Yap said when Mou's mother arrived in Singapore on Sunday she was still hoping the execution could be delayed or the plea of clemency reheard.

'But she is now aware there is no other avenue,' said Mr Yap. 'We have already fought to the very end. As far as I know we have exhausted everything.' But Mou's sister was still trying to get hold of evidence yesterday that would show Mou had no idea what was in the suitcase she was carrying when she was caught at Singapore's Changi airport in 1991. The suitcase contained 5.6 kilograms of heroin.

The family has so far failed to get a syndicate member now serving a four-year sentence in Stanley Prison to accept sole responsibility for Mou's drug-running mission to Singapore.

Mr Yap said one of the things that was foremost in Mou's mind was to thank people who had given her support over the past years.

'She is ready for Friday. She is also very grateful to all those people who have helped in her petition. She is grateful to the Portuguese Government, particularly to the Ambassador who is stationed in Bangkok,' Mr Yap said.

Two Post readers have pledged a further $3,500 to Mou's mother after learning she had difficulty raising money for the trip.

In Macau, where Mou was born, banners were put up on the steps of the ruins of St Paul's church pleading for her life.