SINGAPORE - A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer who deleted footage of fellow firefighter Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, 22, being pushed into a pump well during a ragging incident in May, pleaded guilty on Wednesday (Dec 5).
Adighazali Suhaimi, 33, a staff sergeant, was jailed for one month after he admitted to intentionally obstructing the course of justice by deleting evidence relevant to criminal investigations into Cpl Kok's death.
He is the second SCDF officer to be sentenced for his involvement in the drowning of the full-time national serviceman on May 13 at Tuas View Fire Station.
The first was SCDF regular Muhammad Nur Fatwa Mahmood, 34, who was sentenced to 12 months and four weeks' jail on Oct 23, after he admitted to the fatal push that resulted in Cpl Kok falling into the pump well and drowning.
Nur Fatwa, a staff sergeant, had also admitted to instigating Adighazali to delete the video recording of the incident on his phone while waiting for the police to arrive.
Three other SCDF officers also face charges in relation to the case. They are Mohamed Farid Mohd Saleh, 34; Kenneth Chong Chee Boon, 38; and Nazhan Mohamed Nazi, 40.
Nazhan had, in September, indicated that he intends to claim trial.
Court documents showed that the night of Cpl Kok's death had begun in festivity and cheer.
A group of officers - including Adighazali, Nur Fatwa and those charged - gathered in a room at the fire station on May 13 to celebrate Cpl Kok's impending operationally ready date on May 16.
A plaque and cake were presented to Cpl Kok, who was a permanent resident from Malaysia. The ragging ritual, which would involve him entering the pump well, was also brought up.
Despite Cpl Kok's attempts to resist, he was carried to the well by fellow officers.
He drowned after being pushed into the well, and his body was pulled out 36 minutes later.
Following the incident, the SCDF said in September that it would decommission pump wells at fire stations and beef up initiatives to weed out ragging.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction