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Wednesday, March 10, 1999 Published at 19:19 GMT

World: Europe

Star's father calls for death penalty

Michael Hutchence killed himself after a drink and drugs binge

The father of the late INXS rock star Michael Hutchence is entering politics and calling for the death penalty for drug traffickers.

Kelland Hutchence said capital punishment had proved effective in Singapore and Malaysia. He also urged life imprisonment for drug dealers.

[ image: Mr Hutchence was depressed about a custody battle]
Mr Hutchence was depressed about a custody battle
His son, the former INXS frontman, was found hanged in a Sydney hotel room in December 1997 after consuming a cocktail of alcohol and drugs, including cocaine.

The Australian singer had been depressed about a custody battle involving his British partner Paula Yates and her former husband Bob Geldof. An inquest found he had committed suicide.

Kelland Hutchence is standing for office for the suicide and drug prevention group Speranza in the 27 March state polls in New South Wales.

[ image: Paula Yates and daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily]
Paula Yates and daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily
"A lot of people have considered [the death penalty] to be primitive, but it is no less primitive than what the drug lords are doing to our kids," he said, according to the agency AFP.

"The party is going to look at a lot of issues which we think need reviewing, and capital punishment would be one which should certainly be looked at."

Speranza, which means hope in Italian, will campaign for more funding for suicide and drug programs, he said.

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