HIV data leak: Mikhy Brochez’s lawyer quits, citing 'irreconcilable differences'

HIV data leak: Mikhy Brochez’s lawyer quits, citing 'irreconcilable differences'

Mikhy Farrera Brochez
Mikhy Farrera Brochez shows up for his court hearing in Winchester, Kentucky, on trespassing charges. (Photo: Chris Kenning) 

SINGAPORE: The attorney who represented Mikhy Farrera Brochez, the American accused of leaking data from Singapore's HIV registry, has quit, citing "serious, persistent and irreconcilable differences" between them.

In his motion to court, lawyer John Oakley said that Brochez had made "false accusations regarding promises and assurances" by Mr Oakley and the United States.

Brochez had also told him that he was "not satisfied with his advice and services", according to court documents. 

As a result, Mr Oakley said that he felt he was no longer able to represent Brochez in an "ethical, competent and professional manner".

Hearings involving Brochez have now been delayed. 

A pre-trial conference in Kentucky, United States, was to have started on Apr 24, with the jury trial to start on May 7.

But those hearings have been delayed to May 17 and Jun 3 after Mr Oakley withdrew from representing him. 

Brochez, who previously worked in Singapore as a polytechnic lecturer, is accused of stealing the personal information of 14,200 people from the HIV registry and sharing that information.

READ: HIV data leak: Mikhy Farrera Brochez pleads not guilty in US court

Lawyer Adele Brown has been appointed to represent Brochez in further proceedings, and she had applied for the extension because she needed additional time to prepare for the trial.

SURRENDER AND DESTROY DATA: COURT

Brochez, 34, was ordered by a US court in March to immediately surrender to Singapore authorities the leaked data and all other confidential information, and to remove all online posts and references to the data.

He was deported from Singapore in April last year, after serving a jail term for lying about his HIV status to gain an employment pass.

It is alleged that between June 2018 through to at least January 2019, Brochez, while living in Kentucky, had emailed links from the medical database to several media outlets.

On Feb 16, he also sent a list containing the NRIC numbers of 13 HIV-positive people to Singapore authorities and media outlets.

He threatened to leak more names and information if his husband, Singaporean doctor Ler Teck Siang, was "not released".

Since his court appearance in February, Brochez has been remanded in custody at the Fayette County Detention Centre.

READ: US court orders Mikhy Brochez to 'immediately' return HIV data to Singapore authorities

READ: Judge dismisses doctor’s appeal over lying to authorities about partner’s HIV-positive status

His partner Ler, meanwhile, had his appeal dismissed in March after he was convicted of abetting Brochez to cheat the Ministry of Manpower about Brochez’s HIV-positive status, and for giving false information to the Ministry of Health and the police.

Ler, 37, was found guilty last year of helping Brochez by submitting two HIV blood tests using his own blood in Brochez’s name in 2008 and 2013.

Source: CNA/mi(gs)

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