SAF servicemen charged in military court

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Six Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) servicemen were charged in military court yesterday over the death of Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee.

The Singaporean police had referred the six servicemen to the Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) for investigation into potential breaches of military law surrounding the events in relation to his death, said MINDEF.

“On completion of investigations by the SAF’s Special Investigation Branch, the six servicemen were charged in military court,” said the ministry in response to media queries.

The servicemen who were charged: Conducting Officer First Sergeant (1SG) Chia Zhi Xuan, 25, made “unauthorised deviations to the lesson plan for a training run the day before the fast march,” said MINDEF.

He faces one charge for disobedience of general orders under Section 21 of the SAF Act.

A framed photo of Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee. PHOTO: CNA

Safety Officer Second Sergeant (2SG) Koh Ren Zhong, 26, was the officer for the fast march. He faces one charge for negligent act endangering life under section 41(b) of the SAF Act.

Section Commanders Third Sergeants (NS) [3SG(NS)] Chng Pheng Heng, 22; Jonas Ang Kai Jie, 24 and Yep Ren Jie, 22, “meted out the unauthorised punishment the day before the fast march”.

They each face three charges – two charges for disobedience of general orders under Section 21 of the SAF Act and one charge for abuse of authority under Section 29 of the SAF Act.

Corporal (NS) [CPL(NS)] Tan Jin Yang, 24, was the medic for the fast march. He faces two charges for negligent acts endangering life under section 41(b) of the SAF Act.

Earlier this month, an SAF captain who was charged in 2018 with causing the NSF’s death by a rash act was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

Supervising Officer of the Fast March Captain Tan Baoshu, 31, was accused of failing to evacuate CFC Lee in a timely manner. He was also accused of not allowing the necessary treatment to be administered to CFC Lee, causing the latter’s death from heat stroke.

An Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) spokesperson said the Court had granted CPT Tan a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, meaning that the prosecution will stop pursuing the charge, but did not mean that the accused was acquitted. An AGC spokesperson told CNA that CPT Tan was “diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer”. CPT Tan died on February 13.