Singapore in Brief

Court Dismisses Gag Order on Identity of 17-Year-Old Boy in Vandalism Case

Five teenagers, believed to be behind the vandalism at the rooftop of a Toa Payoh HDB block, were charged in court on Saturday.

They were arrested on Friday – two days after the vandalism was first spotted by residents.

 

Reagan Tan, Boaz Koh, Chay Nam Shen, Goh Rong Liang, and David William Graaskov were expressionless as the charges of vandalism with common intention were read to them.

Goh asked to make a phone call to inform his family of his arrest, as he had been arrested at work.

His request was declined by the district judge, who then directed the police prosecutor to get the investigating officer to inform the boy’s family.

 

The five are believed to be responsible for graffiti that was spray-painted on the rooftop walls of Block 85A, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh.

The graffiti contained vulgarities directed at Singapore’s ruling party, the People’s Action Party.

The police prosecutor told the court that the five teenagers were also believed to be involved in other similar cases.

They have been remanded a week for further investigations, and will be back in court on May 16.

 

It is still not clear how the vandals managed to get to the rooftop of the 22-storey block as investigations by the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council indicated there was no breach of security measures.

This was according to the coordinating chairman for the People’s Action Party (PAP) Town Councils Dr Teo Ho Pin.

Vandalism carries a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to S$2,000 and at least three strokes of the cane.

 

One of the five teenagers allegedly involved in vandalising the rooftop level of a Toa Payoh HDB block had a gag order application dismissed.

David William Graaskov lawyer had applied for a gag order to prevent the publication of information that may lead to the identification of his client.

The prosecution objected, saying that gag orders were usually used to protect victims in cases involving sexual offences.

In this case, Graaskov’s lawyer was seeking a gag order in respect of an accused person, and he was unable to cite a precedent to support his request.

District Judge Eddy Tham ruled that a gag order was “inappropriate”.

 

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