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UPDATE: Veteran criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan dies

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Subhas Anandan, one of Singapore's leading criminal lawyers, died on Wednesday morning at the age of 67 from heart failure.

SUBHAS Anandan, one of Singapore's leading criminal lawyers, died on Wednesday morning at the age of 67 from heart failure.

The veteran lawyer was said to be undergoing dialysis at the Singapore General Hospital when his heart stopped.

In a statement, his family said: "Mr Subhas Anandan passed away this morning from heart failure. The family is grateful for the outpouring of condolences and love for the late Subhas. The family asks to be able to grieve privately during this very difficult time. Details of the funeral will be shared at a later stage."

Simon Tan, a lawyer with Attorneys Inc LLC, said: "This is sad news. He was a champion of what some called 'lost cause' cases. He was widely regarded as a beacon of hope for those who needed legal help but had no financial resources to hire big guns.

"He will be much missed for his larger than life presence and aura in court. The legal fraternity has lost a luminary.''

Mr Subhas, who is known for his compassion, had earned a reputation for defending notorious criminals, often on pro bono basis.

Among his more high profile cases included convicted murderers Anthony Ler, who hired a teenager to kill his wife in 2001; Took Leng How, a vegetable packer who befriended eight-year-old girl Huang Na, then killed her in 2004; and Leong Siew Chor, who chopped up a woman he killed in the Kallang body parts case.

The prominent lawyer was a senior partner at RHTLaw Taylor Wessing and president of the Association of Criminal Lawyers in Singapore. He had suffered long-standing heart and kidney ailments which involved frequent hospital treatment and had to undergo dialysis thrice a week.

Another lawyer, Amolat Singh, a long-time friend of Mr Subhas, told The Straits Times: "Everybody is in utter disbelief. It's a very shocking piece of news, like a bolt out of the blue. He was out and about, always giving people encouragement. There was never a moment that we thought he was going so soon. He was always a fighter."

Mr Subhas is survived by his wife Vimala and his son Sujesh.