Prosecutors want longer prison term for Swiss train vandal

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State prosecutors said Tuesday they intended to submit fresh evidence in their appeal for a longer sentence imposed on a Swiss man jailed for vandalising a Singapore metro train.

Deputy senior state counsel Kan Shuk Weng said the prosecution team wanted to lengthen the jail term of Oliver Fricker, who appeared in court looking gaunt in an orange prison jumpsuit and sporting a shaved head.

A policeman unlocked Fricker's handcuffs before the hearing started at the High Court.

Fricker, 32, was sentenced to a total five months' jail and three strokes of the cane in the Singapore district court in June after pleading guilty to trespass and vandalism, serious offences in the city-state.

The software consultant and a British friend, who remains at large, cut their way into a depot in May and spray-painted graffiti on two train carriages.

"We are asking for the total imprisonment term to be increased, in particular the sentence for the charge under the protected areas and protected places act," Kan told AFP.

She would not give details of the new evidence the prosecution planned to submit nor the length of the extension it would seek.

Fricker was sentenced to three months' jail and three strokes of the cane for vandalism, and two months' imprisonment for trespassing in a protected place, with the prison terms to be served consecutively.

A judge adjourned the case until Friday to give defence lawyer Derek Kang more time to react to the prosecutors' intent to introduce new evidence.

Kang is also seeking to reduce Fricker's sentence.

Prison officials, as a matter of policy, would not say if Fricker's caning sentence had been carried out, citing inmate privacy.

Under Singapore's tough laws, a minimum three strokes of the cane is mandatory for vandalism. The punishment entails being struck on the back of the thigh below the buttocks, which can split the skin and leave lasting scars.

© 2010 AFP

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