British writer starts jail term for contempt of court

SINGAPORE - A 76-year-old British writer who published a book denouncing judicial hangings in Singapore started a prison term on Wednesday for contempt.

Alan Shadrake, who wrote about the use of hanging to execute drug traffickers and murderers in the city-state, turned himself in at the High Court.

On Friday, the author of "Once A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock" lost his appeal against a six-week sentence.

Shadrake could not afford to pay a $20,000 fine on top of the prison term, resulting in another two weeks in jail, taking the term to eight weeks in total. He could be released earlier for good behaviour.

He was allowed to undergo a medical test before serving his sentence.