SCDF's ex-director claims trial to misappropriating two iPads

Jeganathan Ramasamy, 63, could be jailed for up to 20 years and fined on each charge of criminal breach of trust as a public servant if he is convicted. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Jeganathan Ramasamy, 63, could be jailed for up to 20 years and fined on each charge of criminal breach of trust as a public servant if he is convicted. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - The former director of the technology department at the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) went on trial on Monday for misappropriating two Apple iPads entrusted to him in 2011.

Jeganathan Ramasamy, 63, is accused of giving an iPad 2 with a cover to his daughter and selling the other in September 2011 when he was with SCDF. Each cost about $940.

In the prosecution's opening statement, Deputy Public Prosecutor Hon Yi said the iPads were provided to the SCDF by IT firm NCS for the SCDF to test mobile applications that NCS was to develop and launch for the organisation.

In the agreed statement of facts, it was stated that Jeganathan sold the iPad 2 to his colleague, Mr Eric Yap Wee Teck, who was then senior director for emergency services, for $200. Commissioner Yap, 45, was appointed SCDF chief from February 2012.

The prosecution said that, in September 2011, NCS representatives met Jeganathan, who indicated interest in the possibility of using iPads for SCDF's work purposes.

He also requested the iPad 2s be provided to the SCDF for testing purposes.

The two iPads were delivered to Jeganathan at his office at Ubi Avenue on Sept 15 that year.

"It is our position that by Sept 26, 2011, because of an SMS exchange between the accused and an employee of NCS, there could not be any doubt that the accused knew why the iPads were provided to SCDF.

"To put it succinctly, he knew that the iPad 2s were not for him to use and dispose of at his discretion," said Mr Hon.

NCS vice-president of communications engineering, Mr Wong Soon Nam, who was the group general manager of the company, took the stand as the prosecution's first witness on Monday.

Mr Sanjiv Rajan and Ms Christine Tee are defending Jeganathan.

If convicted, Jeganathan could be jailed for up to 20 years and fined on each charge of criminal breach of trust as a public servant.