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Doctor in HIV data leak to stand trial on drug charges, US partner may face extradition




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The doctor involved in the receptor massive data leak wherein information about 14,200 HIV positive patients in Singapore was illegally accessed is going back to court in May to face drug charges. His American partner, Mikhy Farrera Brochez, may face extradition to Singapore under a treaty with the United States if charges are pressed against them.

Ler Teck Siang was the head of the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) National Public Health Unit a number of years ago. As such, Let had access to the country’s HIV registry, and Brochez, whom Lek married in the US in 2014, allegedly leaked information regarding HIV patients online, which included their names, medical records, and personal phone numbers, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH), who announced this on Monday, January 28.

The MOH believes that Brochez still possesses the information.

The American was jailed for 28 months and then deported from Singapore in April 2018, having been convicted of fraud and drug offenses, as well as providing false information to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) concerning his own HIV status.

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Ler has been charged with eight charges in all, according to the State Courts. He has received a sentence for 4 of these charges, including helping Brochez to defraud MOM concerning his being HIV positive, as well as two charges for having given false information to the police and to MOH.

The fifth charge leveled against him is for his failure to take reasonable care of the confidential information of the HIV patients, which, under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), is an offense. Since this charge is still live, it will be tackled when the other charges are settled.

He is currently facing 3 drug-related charges: for not giving a Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officer a urine sample in March 2018, trafficking and administering methamphetamine at a hotel room in Swissotel The Stamford on February 26, 2018, and having been discovered in possession of drug paraphernalia at the Conrad Centennial hotel lobby on March 2, 2018.

For all these charges, Ler could face fines, prison sentences, and caning, according to Channel NewsAsia.

Meanwhile, under a 1931 extradition treaty between the United States and Singapore, Ler’s partner Mikhy Farrera Brochez may still be returned to Singapore, mothership.sg reported.

The pertinent clause that would require Brochez’ extradition reads: “Obtaining money, valuable security, or goods, by false pretenses; receiving any money, valuable security, or other property, knowing the same to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.”

Because of his legal situation, Brochez has been reported to be both homeless and jobless in America. He has been charged with trespassing his mother’s home in Kentucky. If he is convicted, he could pay as much as US$250 in fines or be required to enter a rehabilitation program.

Read related: Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin calls for support for unwittingly exposed HIV patients



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