Couple to be charged over leaking of circuit breaker details

A couple will be charged today under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) over the wrongful communication of information – the second such case in the past week.

The information was allegedly from a draft joint media statement by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education.

It was to announce details of the implementation of full home-based learning by schools and institutes of higher learning, and the closure of pre-schools and student care centres.

The woman, a 38-year-old public servant, had allegedly sent the information to her husband, 39, before it was officially released. He then allegedly sent it to his friends.

Last night, the police said they received a report about the incident on April 3 last year.

The woman had allegedly taken a picture of the media release from her computer screen.

She was an authorised recipient of the media statement.

She is also alleged to have taken photos of a list of essential services that would continue operating during the circuit breaker and sent them to her husband, at his request.

Both will be charged with offences of wrongful communication of information under the OSA.

The man will also be charged with soliciting the wrongful communication of information under the OSA.

They can be fined up to $2,000 and jailed for up to two years.

Sixteen others who received the information and disseminated it will be given written warnings for wrongful communication, said the police.

Last Wednesday, Zhao Zheng, 36, a former deputy lead at the Ministry of Health (MOH), was charged under the OSA with leaking Singapore’s daily Covid-19 case numbers 22 times last year.

Zhao had allegedly shared the daily numbers in a WeChat group that had 49 other members, before MOH officially released the numbers.

The remaining two charges relate to her allegedly sharing information on a Covid-19 patient with her friend Tang Lin, also 36.

Tang was also charged with 10 counts of wrongful communication under the OSA.

Nine of the charges relate to her allegedly sharing the number of daily cases before the figures were officially released by MOH.

She is accused of doing this between March 26 and April 16 last year.

The police said 64 others who had received or communicated the information will be issued with stern warnings or written advisories.

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