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718 arrested in London climate protest

Singapore: An Indian-origin man has been jailed here for a bomb hoax in 2004 at Singapore’s first prime minister late Lee Kuan Yew’s house after consuming alcohol. Ganesan Singaravel, 61, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Telecommunications Act, The New Paper reported Tuesday.

Ganesan drank alcohol till early morning on November 13, 2004, at a popular spot in Orchard Tower on Singapore’s hotel belt of Orchard Road and then made a call from public telephone booth to the police, making reference to a bomb at Yew’s house.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Benjamin Samynathan on Monday told the court, “The call was made by the accused from a public phone located next to the Thai Embassy (also on Orchard Road). The call’s message was clearly false, and the accused knew that the text of the call was false.

“A (police) patrol car was sent to Orchard Towers to interview and arrest the accused. He was coherent during his interactions with the officers at the scene. Meanwhile, the officers who were already stationed at Oxley Road (Lee’s house) were told to step up patrols and be alert and vigilant.”

Ganesan was charged on November 16, 2004, but he fled Singapore about two months later while on bail. Last year, he was caught overstaying in the US. He told the authorities there that he wanted to return to Singapore. Subsequently, he was detained on his arrival here on July 15.

Defence lawyers — Ravinderpal Singh and James Ow Yong — stated in their mitigation plea that their client was drunk when he committed the offence. The plea also stated, “The accused realises how alcohol has utterly destroyed his life and family, leading to his wife to divorce him, leaving him with nothing and his children to give up on him. The accused’s family no longer wants anything to do with him. “The offence has taken a terrible toll on the accused.”

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