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Aray. Singapore to cane Swiss man for graffiti terrorism
« on: June 27, 2010, 04:35:42 AM »
telegraph.co.uk

Oliver-Fricker_1666102c - Aray. Singapore to cane Swiss man for graffiti terrorism  - Asia | Middle East

REUTERS

Oliver Fricker, 32, crimes alarmed Singapore officials because he and a British friend were able to break into a subway system believed to be a potential terrorist target.

Singapore has launched an international hunt for the 29-year-old Briton, Lloyd Dane Alexander, who allegedly planned the act but left the city-state before he could be caught, leaving Fricker to face the consequences alone.
 

Prosecutors said the pair spray-painted the words "McKoy" and "Banos" on two carriages in the early hours of May 17 - the signature of train vandals whose elaborate works are celebrated in YouTube videos and websites.

Fricker was about to return to Switzerland when he was arrested on May 25, and his employer, Zurich-based Comit AG, which specialises in software for the financial industry, confirmed he had been suspended from work.

Damning evidence, including emails ordering paint, photographs and a wire cutter used to cut through the fence of a train depot, left Fricker with little choice but to plead guilty in the hope of getting a more lenient sentence.

The prosecution said his laptop computer contained 53 images and one video file of vandalised trains.

Prosecutors said Fricker and Alexander became friends after meeting in Australia in 1997 and the vandalism took place when Alexander visited Singapore as a tourist.

Vandalism is punishable by up to three years in jail or a maximum fine of 2,000 Singapore dollars (£963), plus three to eight strokes of a wooden cane, a punishment dating from British colonial rule.

For trespassing into a protected area, Fricker faces two years in jail or a fine of 1,000 dollars, or both.

Singapore considers the intrusion a serious offence because its MRT subway system is believed to be the target of Islamic extremists.

"There are security implications for this, that somebody was able to penetrate a depot unnoticed and then commit damage," said John Harrison, a homeland security expert with the Singapore's S Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

Singapore's vandalism laws became global news in 1994 when an American teenager, Michael Fay, was caned for damaging cars and public property despite appeals for clemency from the US government.


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