Nurse who claimed Facebook account was hacked charged

Nurse who claimed Facebook account was hacked charged
Photo illustration of a man looking at a computer screen.

SINGAPORE - A Filipino who previously worked as a nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital has been charged for sedition and providing false information to the police.

Ello Ed Mundsel Bello, 28, had allegedly posted a seditious comment on Facebook which said that Singaporeans are "loosers (losers) in their own country". The post also said that Singaporeans would be evicted out of their own country. "I will be praying that disators (disasters) strike Singapore and more Singaporeans will die than (sic) I will celebrate," it said.

The two charges of sedition against him state that the statement posted had a tendency to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between Filipinos and Singaporeans.

He is also accused of lying to the police at Chong Pang Neighbourhood Police Post on January 3. He had told the officer that he did not post the comments online.

Ello allegedly lied to the police again on January 4 and 5, this time at Ang Mo Kio Police Division Headquarters. He told the officer then that he did not post the comments and that his Facebook account had been accessed by someone else without his permission.

He faces three charges of providing false information to a public servant.

According to the Straits Times, bail of $10,000 was offered and his passport has been impounded.

A pre-trial conference has been set for April 21.

If convicted of sedition, Ello faces a fine of up to $5,000, or three years in jail, or both for each charge. If convicted of giving false information to the police, Ello may be jailed up to one year and/or fined up to $5,000 for each charge.

The post allegedly published by Ello had caused a stir when it was shared online earlier this year. Tan Tock Seng Hospital fired him in January, saying that his comments had distressed members of the public and hospital staff. A spokesperson said that the comments were "highly irresponsible and offensive to Singapore and religion".

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