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Judge dismisses gag order application in HDB vandalism case

One of the five boys allegedly involved in a vandalism case in Toa Payoh has had a gag order application dismissed by a district judge on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE: One of the five boys allegedly involved in a vandalism case in Toa Payoh has had a gag order application dismissed by a district judge on Wednesday.

David William Graaskov, 17, is alleged to have been part of the group that sprayed profane graffiti denigrating the People's Action Party and the police at Block 85A, Toa Payoh Lorong 4, on May 7.

Graaskov's lawyer, Mr Choo Zheng Xi, had applied for a gag order to be imposed, to prevent the publication of any information that may lead to the identification of his client.

Mr Choo said that, if granted, he would use the gag order as a basis for compelling websites to take down any offending material.

The prosecution objected to the application, saying that the law prohibiting the identification of witnesses was generally used to protect victims, especially in cases involving sexual offences.

Mr Choo had cited the example of the prosecution's application to impose a gag order on Cecilia Sue's name in the trial of former Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon Gay, in spite of the fact that she was not a victim of a sex crime.

In this case, Mr Choo was seeking a gag order in respect of an accused person, the prosecution added.

Graaskov's lawyer was unable to cite a precedent in which a gag order had been imposed on an accused person.

District Judge Eddy Tham ruled that a gag order was "inappropriate" and dismissed Mr Choo's application.

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