Lawyer given conditional warning for breaching gag order in case of doctor acquitted of molestation
SINGAPORE: A lawyer has been given a conditional warning for publishing transcripts from the case of a doctor acquitted of molestation, in breach of a gag order protecting the complainant's identity.
At the same time, 32-year-old Johannes Hadi received a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for two counts under the State Courts Act of breaching a gag order.
Mr Hadi was a junior lawyer under lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam defending Dr Yeo Sow Nam. Dr Yeo was acquitted of all counts of molesting a woman after a trial.
According to Mr Hadi's charges, he published transcripts of the court proceedings containing unredacted information likely to lead to the identification of the woman by distributing the transcripts to the press on Mar 16 last year.
A second charge states that he distributed transcripts containing unredacted information likely to identify the complainant to the press again on Aug 11, 2021.
In response to CNA's queries, a spokesperson for the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said the prosecution applied for Mr Hadi's charges to be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal "after careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case".
A conditional warning was issued to Mr Hadi, and he may be prosecuted on the same charges should he reoffend, said the AGC spokesperson.
She said that the prosecution took into account the fact that Mr Hadi was a junior lawyer who had acted under the instructions and supervision of Mr Thuraisingam, who was lead counsel in the case for Dr Yeo Sow Nam.
"Given Mr Hadi's role in the incident, a conditional warning in lieu of prosecution was issued to him," said the AGC spokesperson.
Mr Thuraisingam pleaded guilty to breaching a gag order in relation to the same incident and was fined S$4,000 in August.
The penalty for breaching a gag order is up to a year in jail, a fine of up to S$5,000 or both.