Oliver Fricker

Oliver Fricker is a Swiss man who, in 2010, was sentenced by the Singapore High Court to seven months in jail and three strokes of the cane for trespassing and vandalism. He was 33 years old at that time. He became the second high-profile foreigner after Michael P. Fay (in 1994) to be sentenced to caning in Singapore.

The crimeEdit

The crime was committed on May 17, 2010 at a train depot in Singapore. Fricker and his friend, Dane Alexander Lloyd, broke into the depot by cutting a hole in the fence and spray-painted a train carriage near the fence. They left for Hong Kong on the following day but Fricker returned to Singapore three days later while Lloyd remained in Hong Kong. Fricker was arrested on May 25, and the police later issued an Interpol global arrest warrant for Lloyd.

The trialEdit

On June 26, Fricker pleaded guilty to two charges of vandalism and trespassing in a protected place, and was sentenced to five months in jail (three for vandalism and two for trespassing) and three strokes of the cane (for vandalism). Under Singapore's laws, a minimum of three strokes of the cane is mandatory for vandalism.[1] Fricker appealed against his sentence, and the case was heard on August 18, in the High Court. Fricker lost the appeal and his jail sentence was increased from five months to seven months. The judge even remarked that Fricker should "count himself fortunate that he has not received his just deserts in full". Fricker's caning was postponed pending the appeal, but was declared to be carried out then. The date the caning took place is not known.

AftermathEdit

The breach at the train depot was Singapore's biggest security lapse since a suspected terrorist leader, Mas Selamat bin Kastari, escaped from detention in February 2008. Transport systems, high-traffic public areas and foreign embassies are all regarded as potential terrorist targets in Southeast Asia. Fricker's case sparked off an outcry from the Singaporean public in the media and on the internet, most of it not directed towards the vandals, but rather, towards the government for the lack of security in public transportation and protected installations.

Fricker was released from Changi Prison on November 15, 2010, after spending less than five months in jail, having received one-third remission for good behavior. He immediately returned to Switzerland, where he was arrested by the Swiss police for suspected graffiti offenses.

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