SINGAPORE - A former Singapore Airlines pilot was on Monday (Sept 2) fined $3,000 after he unlawfully shared with a WhatsApp group two photos, including one of a dead maid, he had received from his girlfriend, a paramedic.
Court documents showed that Fazli Hisham Mohd Fairuz Shah, 29, was a qualified pilot when he committed the offences on Feb 1, 2017, and had worked for the carrier between October 2016 and July 2017.
The WhatsApp group was known as "hijau, kuning, merah" (green, yellow, red in Malay). The court heard that a man in the group shared the photos with three maids, one of whom then posted them on Facebook.
They were then circulated on social media before the police were alerted on Feb 3, 2017.
On Aug 26 following a trial, the court found Fazli guilty of two offences under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
His girlfriend, Nurizzah Afiqah Hussain, was fined $3,000 in August last year after pleading guilty to two OSA-related offences.
The 27-year-old was working for private ambulance operator Unistrong Technology when she was called to attend to a suicide case at a condominium in the east on Feb 1, 2017.
While at the apartment, ambulance driver Shaik Haziq Fahmi Shaik Nasair Johar, 29, took a photo of the dead woman and shared it in a WhatsApp group called STN21.
Haziq was earlier fined $1,500 for also committing an OSA-related offence.
Nurizzah, who was part of the group, then forwarded the photo to her boyfriend.
In turn, Fazli shared it in the WhatsApp group along with a photo of a document which stated "Maid hung herself on the fan".
This picture of the document was also sent by Nurizzah, the court heard.
In his defence, Fazli claimed that he was "completely ignorant of his girlfriend's work", and the nature of the photos, saying he thought "it was something interesting to share".
However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao said that such a notion would be "inconsistent with his NS (national service) background as a section commander in the Special Rescue Platoon in the SCDF (Singapore Civil Defence Force)".
The DPP added: "From his performance on the stand, the accused clearly demonstrated himself to be an intelligent and articulate person.
"In addition, as a pilot, his description of the rigours of his training and what he did during his time at Singapore Airlines makes it clear that he is used to functioning in situations of fatigue and high pressure."
District Judge Luke Tan had said earlier that Fazli would have been aware that the pictures were obtained by Nurizzah in the course of her work.
Nurizzah and Haziq are no longer working for Unistrong Technology.
For each charge, Fazli could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $2,000.