SINGAPORE: The teenager who murdered a woman under the instructions of her husband Anthony Ler has been released after serving nearly 17 years in prison.
The 32-year-old male Singaporean had his sentence remitted on Nov 2 this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Thursday (Dec 13).
"The President, on the advice of the Cabinet, had exercised her powers of clemency and granted the subject a remission of the remaining part of his sentence," MHA said.
"The factors that were considered included the subject’s good conduct and rehabilitation progress in prison, the total length of the subject’s sentence served thus far, as well as the circumstances of his case."
MHA added: "Conditions, such as curfew hours and electronic monitoring, are imposed to monitor the subject following his release, and further rehabilitative support is provided to aid his reintegration into society."
The ministry added that the trial judge found the teenager, who was 15 years old at the time of the offence, had been manipulated by Ler.
The high-profile case shocked the nation when the court heard that Ler offered the teenager S$100,000 to kill his wife, Annie Leong.
In May 2001, the teenager waited for Leong, 30, at the lift landing on the fourth floor of a Housing and Development Board (HDB) block in Hougang.
When Ms Leong emerged from the lift, the teenager approached her from behind and slashed her neck with a steak knife before stabbing her in the chest. Ms Leong died in hospital several hours later.
A psychiatrist report submitted to the court said the teenager, who had known Ler since he was 10 years old, had looked up to Ler as a role model.
In December 2001, the teenager was convicted of murder under the Penal Code and sentenced to be detained at the President’s pleasure. His identity was not reported during the High Court trial as he was only 15 years old.
In November 2017, the President’s Office confirmed that it had received a second petition for the Singaporean man’s clemency. The first petition was submitted to former president Tony Tan in 2013.
Ler, 35, was hanged in December 2002 after having failed in his appeal against his conviction for abetting the murder of his wife.