For the very first time in history, someone is jailed for a COVID-19 offence.
At least, not yet.
It’s our dear BKT lover, whose desire for a hot soup has landed him in hot water, and now, in jail.
Here’s what happened.
BKT Lover Jailed for 6 Weeks; Prosecutor Said He Was Playing the Victim Instead of Remorseful
Just a recap: the guy had come back from Myanmar on 23 March 2020 and had to serve a 14-day SHN.
He then decided to post an image of his favourite food on Facebook, showing his friends that he had been out during the SHN.
It turned out that he didn’t have friends after all.
After being baotu-ed, the authorities then investigated, and soon, it was realised that he didn’t just leave his house for his favourite hawker food; he’s been to four places in a day instead.
Damn, I’m not on SHN and I’m only in two places in a week: my dining table and my bed.
His reason? He claimed that he thought the SHN starts the next day, and even said that an officer told him so.
Which of course doesn’t make sense, but that was his defence.
But according to the prosecutors, no one makes “any representation to the accused (BKT Lover) that the Stay-Home Notice commerce on Day 1 of his arrival, which is 24 March”
Ah, the burn.
But our dear BKT Lover doesn’t seem to be remorseful.
BKT Lover’s Lawyers: Warning Only Mah, No Meh?
Two days after that, BKT Lover received a love letter from ICA—an advisory.
In it, they’ve issued a warning to BKT Lover for breaching the SHN, adding, “You are hereby advised to comply with the requirements of the stay-home notice. If you are found to be in non-compliance with the stay-home notice again, the same leniency may not be shown towards you, and enforcement action may be taken against you under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act.”
In other words, the actions taken for his offence should just be a warning, and it’s not serious.
His lawyer said, “The reasonable inference that flows from this is the enforcement agency’s own assessment of Alan’s case to be of sufficiently low culpability or harm on day zero for him to be let off with a warning in lieu of prosecution, save in the event of re-offending.”
The prosecutors fought back, claiming that it was merely an advice for BKT Lover not to reoffend, and in no way did it state that they’d not prosecute him.
Also, the letter was by ICA, and it “cannot fetter the public prosecutor’s discretion to prosecute if the evidential basis to do so, and if such a prosecution is in the public interest…whether the prosecution ultimately chooses to prosecute for the warned offence is something entirely within its power.”
The prosecutor said that there is “clearly no abuse of process in this case and there is no reason why the advisory letter would render the accused’s prosecution wrong in law.”
If you’re confused because to you, both ICA and the prosecutor are the gahmen, here’s a basic lesson: ICA is ICA and the prosecutors are under the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
The AGC is like…a group of people who want people to go to jail or be fined for breaking criminal laws.
For example, police catch BuffLord95 for stealing biscuits from the office, but the police don’t go to court to charge BuffLord95 for the crime—the prosecutors do it. The prosecutors are, loosely translated, the Government’s lawyers lah.
Eventually it’ll be the judge who decides everything.
But if it’s a civil case, like BuffLord95 stealing XiaoBeach73’s heart and now XiaoBeach73 wants to sue BuffLord95 for playing with her feelings, then it’s a dispute between two parties (i.e. not criminal) and the AGC won’t be involved.
Why So Serious?
Of course, BKT Lover’s lawyers argued that others have been charged as well for similar offences (sentencing not out yet), and since he beached his SHN on the 0 day, the judge should be lenient and just give him 2 weeks’ jail if a fine does not suffice.
And the prosecutor fought back.
He said the defence is “saying that the accused is justified in not going home immediately because the Government didn’t do enough to provide him with an escort, to provide him to his doorstep, or even better, a designated hotel.”
Wow, remind me not to commit a crime so I won’t face a prosecutor.
Reader Bao: Wait, you stopped yourself from kicking a cat because you’re scared of a prosecutor’s shade?
Anyways, he added, “The accused makes himself sound like a victim of an administrative mishap when it was in fact him who committed an offence of exposing others to the risk of infection.”
BKT Lover will start his six weeks’ jail from 30 April 2020, though let’s face it: we’re all also in “jail” but we can be released on 2 June 2020 (hopefully).
Technically speaking, BKT Lover could have been jailed for up to six months or fined up to $10,000.
So let this be a lesson to everyone: don’t piss the prosecutor off.
Fresh grads, you don’t need any experience to earn up to $4,200 with this “secret”:
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