Public servant and her husband to be charged under OSA for leak of MSF-MOE statement

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Creative abstract cyber crime, online piracy and internet web hacking concept: 3D render illustration of the macro view of metal handcuffs and wooden judge mallet, gavel or hammer on laptop notebook computer keyboard with selective focus effect
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A public servant and her husband will be charged over the leak of a government statement on the implementation of home-based learning before its official release.

The couple will be charged for offences of wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), the police said in a statement. The man will also be charged for soliciting the wrongful communication of information under the OSA.

“On 3 April 2020, the Police received a report stating that a draft joint media statement by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education to announce details of the implementation of full home-based learning by schools and Institutes of Higher Learning, as well as the closure of pre-schools and student care centres, had been leaked to the public before it was officially released.”

Investigations revealed that the public servant, who is an authorised recipient of the media statement, had allegedly taken a photo of the media statement on her computer screen and shared the image with her husband via WhatsApp.

Her husband, who was not authorised to receive the statement, allegedly shared the image with his friends before the information was officially released.

In addition, the woman had purportedly taken photos of a list of essential services that would continue operating during the circuit breaker period and sent them to her husband at his request.

The announcement comes almost a week after a female civil servant and another woman, both 36 and Singaporeans, were charged for allegedly leaking the daily updates of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Singapore before their official release last year.

Zhao Zheng, the deputy lead of the Data Management Unit set up by the Ministry of Health (MOH), and Tang Lin were charged under the OSA for wrongful communication. Zhao was handed 24 charges, including those under the Computer Misuse Act, while Tang was given 10 charges.

A person who is convicted of wrongful communication of information under the OSA may face up to two years' jail and a maximum fine of $2,000.

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