Singapore train vandal granted bail: Swiss authorities

19th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Swiss man who was jailed and caned for spray-painting a Singapore metro train has been freed on bail pending investigations in Switzerland into suspected graffiti offences, authorities said Friday.

Oliver Fricker, a 32-year-old software consultant, was arrested on his return to Switzerland earlier this week.

He is suspected of having spray-painted trains across five Swiss cantons, causing damage totalling some 200,000 francs (around 200,000 dollars/150,000 euros), the prosecutors office in canton Zug said.

On Friday afternoon, a local judge granted him bail pending the outcome of investigations into these offences. However, he has had to surrender his passport.

"He is no longer in custody, but investigations are ongoing," Marcel Schlatter, spokesman of canton Zug's prosecution service, told AFP.

Schlatter had said earlier this week that graffiti bearing the same signature as in Singapore had been found in the five cantons, but police did not know who had committed the offences until Fricker's arrest in the Asian island state.

Fricker was released from Singapore's Changi Prison on Monday after five months in prison and quickly took a flight back to Switzerland.

He was jailed in June for vandalism and trespass. The software consultant was also ordered to be whipped three times with a wooden cane, a form of punishment applicable to vandalism and other offences including rape.

Singapore prosecutors said Fricker broke into a train depot in May and spray-painted two carriages together with a 29-year-old Briton, Lloyd Dane Alexander, who is still wanted in Singapore after fleeing the city-state.

The pair spray-painted the words "McKoy" and "Banos" -- the signatures of two train vandals whose elaborate works are celebrated in YouTube videos and websites that regard graffiti as an art form.

© 2010 AFP

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