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Victims of voyeur from UK university willing to forego anonymity if he is named publicly

District Judge Adam Nakhoda will announce if the gag order will be lifted on January 16 as well as whether or not he will be allowed to leave the country

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Singapore—Many of the alleged victims of a 22-year-old voyeur from a top university in the United Kingdom are apparently willing to forego the right to protection through anonymity, prosecutors said on Tuesday (Jan 14), regarding a case that has made headlines in Singapore over the past days.

The victims support the lifting of a gag order that would name the individual publicly, according to Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Foo Shi Hao and Tan Zhi Hao.

This comes days after a judge again granted permission for the accused to return to the UK to resume his studies, a move opposed by the prosecution. The judge first gave the young man permission to leave the country last October.

The defense and prosecution argued in court on the possibility of the young man, who has been accused of taking obscene videos of at least 12 women in Singapore, becoming a flight risk.

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At the hearing, the prosecutors entered new evidence: text messages between the alleged voyeur and one of his friends, who turned out to be one of the women he had filmed.

However, according to the young man’s lawyer, Kalidass Murugaiyan, his client had been considering suicide. In a text sent to the woman, he wrote, “I trust you enough to tell you this. I honestly might not come back.”

When the woman found out that he had been given permission to leave the country for a second time, she went to the police and showed them the text messages from him.

The accused and this woman were exchanging text messages on October 2, which was the same day that he was first accused of filming two women in the bathroom.

He wrote to her then as to someone he could “trust,” and the woman found out later that she had also been filmed by the accused.

On the same day, he messaged her that he had a “master plan” to “seek asylum” elsewhere, so that he would escape “certain destruction” in Singapore.

He texted, “Stay for certain destruction, but there is that element of certainty. Or leave, and everything is uncertain, but potentially adverting [sic] this problem.”

He added, “Honestly, after the first mistake, there is little incentive in this world not to continue to try to lie or run. But surrendering just means you die sooner.”

Prosecutors have said that they will be filing a criminal motion in the High Court that would reverse the judge’s decision allowing him to return to the UK. At this point, he is not allowed to leave the country.

According to the prosecutors, the young man’s wealthy family can well-afford to support him overseas should he choose to abscond.

The young man has claimed trial to 19 counts of insulting the modesty of 12 alleged female victims. One of the victims was only 15 years old when he filmed her.

In some of the video clips he filmed, which are still making the rounds online, the faces, as well as private parts, of the victims, can be seen.

Neither the victims, the accused, or even the university he’s enrolled with can be identified publicly because of the gag order.

But DPPs Foo and Tan have said that 10 of the victims want the accused to be named since “they feel he should not be allowed to hide behind a gag order”. Of the other two victims, one was not consulted on the matter, which her family asked for since she is aged 16 and is still a minor, and the other “expressed some reservations.”

District Judge Adam Nakhoda will announce on Thursday (Jan 16) his decision regarding the lifting of the gag order as well as whether or not he can leave the country. -/TISG

Read related: Monica Baey: Casual voyeurism is a “national emergency that was swept under the rug” for too long

Monica Baey: Casual voyeurism is a “national emergency that was swept under the rug” for too long

 

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