Wednesday 24 June 2015

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital shooting on 20 June 2015; Life imprisonment and 18 strokes for man who snatched cop's revolver and fired three shots

Shooting suspect charged with capital offence
By Rei Kurohi, The Straits Times, 23 Jun 2015

THE 23-year-old Singaporean man who allegedly fired three shots from a policeman's revolver at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital last Saturday was charged yesterday with a capital offence under the Arms Offences Act.

Muhammad Iskandar Sa'at is accused of discharging three rounds from policeman Mohammad Sadli Razali's .38-calibre Taurus revolver some time between 7.03pm and 7.06pm that day, with the intent to cause physical injury. If convicted, he faces the death penalty.

At the time of the offence, Muhammad Iskandar was in police custody for an unrelated charge of motor vehicle theft. He had been charged earlier last Saturday with stealing a white Mitsubishi lorry from a loading bay in Sembawang Drive the day before, along with his accomplice Muhammad Taufiq Jasmi, also 23.

While in custody, Muhammad Iskandar complained of chest pains and was escorted to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital to seek medical attention.

A struggle ensued after he attempted to escape while inside a private room in the hospital, and the shots were fired. The 31-year-old officer whose gun was snatched sustained gunshot wounds to his thumb and foot.

Muhammad Iskandar arrived in court in a police van yesterday afternoon wearing a white polo T-shirt and beige trousers.

His brother and sister-in-law were in court, accompanied by another man and a woman. The accused requested to speak to his sister-in-law, and the prosecution did not object. Bail was not offered and he remains in remand. His case will be mentioned again next Monday.

Asked about the incident at an event yesterday, Second Minister for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said: "It's still before the courts and we have to do our investigation. The findings from this investigation will help us diagnose what the problems are and what kind of correction we may need to make in future."

* Shooting suspect faces two more charges
By Elena Chong, The Straits Times, 30 Jun 2015

THE man accused of firing three rounds from a police revolver at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital was charged with two more offences yesterday.

Muhammad Iskandar Sa'at, 23, is accused of discharging three bullets from a .38-calibre Taurus revolver with intent to injure Staff Sergeant Mohammad Sadli Razali, 31, between 7.03pm and 7.06pm on June 20.

If convicted, he faces the death penalty.

Yesterday, he was also charged with hitting Staff Sgt Sadli multiple times with a T-baton and a metal pole used for securing an intravenous drip some time between 6.53pm and 7pm on the same day, to deter the policeman from doing his duty.

At the time of the offence, Muhammad Iskandar was in police custody for an unrelated charge of motor vehicle theft. While in custody, he complained of chest pains and was escorted to the hospital in Yishun to seek medical help. A struggle ensued after he tried to escape while inside a private room in the hospital.

The other fresh charge yesterday states that he tried to escape from legal custody after he was arrested for stealing a lorry in Sembawang Drive the day before.

The prosecution applied for him to be remanded for psychiatric evaluation.

Before his lawyer stepped into the courtroom, Muhammad Iskandar asked for bail but District Judge Eddy Tham told him he could not go on bail unless the capital charge he was facing was reduced.

His family members have instructed lawyer Shashi Nathan to act for him. Mr Nathan's colleague, Ms Tania Chin, was in court yesterday and had no objections to the three-week remand.

Ms Chin was allowed to speak briefly with Muhammad Iskandar in court. He will return to court on July 20.

The maximum punishment for causing hurt to a public servant is seven years' jail, a fine and caning. If convicted of attempting to escape from legal custody, he can be jailed for up to one year and fined. The maximum punishment for vehicle theft is seven years' jail and a fine plus disqualification from driving.

JUST IN - Khoo Teck Puat shooting: 23-year-old Singaporean who allegedly snatched a revolver of a police officer charged...
Posted by The Straits Times on Sunday, June 21, 2015

Man who snatched officer's revolver faces firearms charge
By Adrian Lim, The Straits Times, 22 Jun 2015

The 24-year-old Singaporean had been arrested for motor vehicle theft, but now faces a charge punishable by the death penalty.
Last Saturday, he tried to escape from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and snatched the revolver of the police officer who tried to stop him.

Three shots were fired in the struggle that ensued and the policeman was wounded in his left thumb and right foot.

The case has been classified as an unlawful discharge of firearms under the Arms Offences Act, which carries the death penalty.

The suspect will appear in court at 2pm today, police said last night.

UPDATE TO INCIDENT AT KHOO TECK PUAT HOSPITAL (KTPH) Police have classified the case as one of Unlawful...
Posted by Singapore Police Force on Sunday, June 21, 2015

The man, whose identity has not yet been revealed, had been arrested last Friday - a day before the shooting - and was under remand for further investigation, police revealed.

Last Saturday, he complained of chest pains and was escorted by police officers to KTPH.

He tried to escape from one of the hospital's examination rooms, which are "not accessible to the public", police said.

The 31-year-old police officer whose revolver was snatched was injured in the struggle that followed.

It is believed that the escape attempt took place when the police officer's colleague left the room.

The suspect was subsequently subdued. Two paramedics from Hope Ambulance Service assisted in apprehending the man, The Straits Times has learnt.

The injured police officer was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for immediate hand microsurgery and is now in stable condition.

When asked about the incident on the sidelines of a grassroots event earlier yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said that any illegal use of firearms was a "serious offence".

Former policemen The Straits Times spoke to raised concerns about whether there were enough police officers with the suspect when the escape attempt took place.

They also asked why the suspect was not taken to the hospital in Changi Prison instead.

Retired officer Lionel de Souza, 72, said: "There should always be at least two police escorts. And on no occasion should either leave."

Saturday night's shooting followed a separate incident about three weeks ago, when police fired on a car that crashed through security barriers near the Shangri-La Hotel. The 34-year- old driver died on the spot.

POLICE STATEMENT ON THE INCIDENT AT KHOO TECK PUAT HOSPITAL Police confirm that shots were fired at Khoo Teck Puat...
Posted by Singapore Police Force on Saturday, June 20, 2015

** Man who snatched police officer's revolver and fired three shots gets life term in jail, caning
He snatched officer's revolver and fired three rounds, injuring him in attempt to escape
By K.C. Vijayan, Senior Law Correspondent, The Straits Times, 20 Mar 2018

In one of the worst cases of assault against a police officer, a man was jailed for life and given 18 strokes of the cane in the High Court yesterday.

Muhammad Iskandar Sa'at, 26, had snatched the officer's revolver and fired three rounds during a scuffle at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Yishun on June 20, 2015, at around 7pm as he tried to escape from custody. Two rounds penetrated the officer's left thumb and right foot.

Iskandar was in remand for vehicle theft after being charged in the State Courts on the same day. He had sought medical treatment and was escorted to the hospital by two officers.

The delivery man pleaded guilty yesterday to a single charge of having a firearm under the Arms Offences Act in causing hurt to a public servant. Three other charges were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.

In handing down the sentence yesterday, Justice Chan Seng Onn agreed with the prosecution on the aggravating factors involved and stressed this was an extremely serious offence.

The court heard that Iskandar had first attacked Staff Sergeant Muhammad Sadli Razali with an intravenous drip pole while in a room in the hospital meant for patients under police custody. In the ensuing struggle, he forcefully hit the officer at least 13 times with the police T-baton before snatching the revolver and firing three shots.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Kumaresan Gohulabalan and Kelly Ho said Iskandar "went to extreme lengths to try to escape lawful custody", adding that Staff Sgt Sadli "is fortunate to be alive".

"It was fortuitous that Staff Sgt Sadli managed to pull the offender onto the ground to avert a potential tragedy. At least five other persons were in the room or near the room entrance when the offender had possession of the revolver, and were thus in harm's way," said the prosecution.

Two paramedics went to Staff Sgt Sadli's aid at the time, and three uniformed officers subsequently came to the room to help subdue Iskandar and remove the weapon from his hand. When the shots were fired, Iskandar was in a supine position on the floor and his right hand holding the revolver had been pinned down by Staff Sgt Sadli.

In arguing for a deterrent punishment, the prosecution said: "The attack took place during visiting hours in a public hospital when there would invariably be significant human traffic. Such an act of wanton violence in a public place necessarily raises public disquiet and necessitates a heavier sentence."

In his mitigation, Iskandar's assigned lawyers Shashi Nathan and Tania Chin from Withers KhattarWong said their client had struggled with drug addiction. He had last injected himself with heroin some 27 hours before the incident and was struggling with acute withdrawal.

Mr Nathan said Iskandar wanted to escape to explain himself to his girlfriend's family and his parents. His girlfriend was also arrested for the alleged theft.

The lawyer added that Iskandar had intended to use the revolver butt to hit the policeman, and at no time intended to aim the gun at anyone. Mr Nathan said that during the scuffle, both Iskandar and the police officer fell to the ground, and one of the paramedics had placed a pillow over the gun. The pillow was then held by both the police officer and Iskandar. The three shots were fired while the pillow was over the gun.

Mr Nathan said Iskandar accepted full responsibility and made no excuses for his actions, deeply regretting his folly.

After the sentencing, Iskandar broke down and his family members showed relief. Under the law, a person convicted of discharging a firearm can be punished with the death penalty.

"His family and I are both deeply grateful to the prosecution for having carefully considered the circumstances and being fair in reducing the charge," said Mr Nathan.

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