Graffiti accused 'could be caned'
Published 05/06/2010 | 10:36
A Swiss man faces possible caning in Singapore for allegedly spray-painting a subway car, a case that will test the city-state's reputation for severe punishment for vandalism.
Oliver Fricker, 33, has been charged with one count of trespassing and two counts of vandalism for breaking into a train depot and drawing graffiti on a subway car on May 16, prosecutors said.
Fricker is being held on 100,000 Singapore dollars (£49,000) bail. A preliminary hearing is set for June 21.
Prosecutors say a British citizen who is still at large was with Fricker during the incident.
Vandalism in Singapore carries a fine of up to 2,000 Singapore dollars (£980) or up to three years in jail, in addition to three to eight strokes of a cane.
Singapore caned American teenager Michael Fey for vandalism in 1994 - ignoring pleas for leniency by then-US president Bill Clinton - in a case that drew international attention to the country's harsh punishments.
Singapore has eased enforcement of minor infractions such as jaywalking or spitting in recent years, though earlier this year the government reiterated a ban on the sale of chewing gum.