Ler Teck Siang, doctor involved in HIV Registry data leak, jailed 15 months for drug offences

A photo taken on March 11 shows Ler Teck Siang arriving at the High Court. Ler was on Oct 17 found guilty by a district judge of injecting drug abusers for a fee and for possessing drug utensils.
A photo taken on March 11 shows Ler Teck Siang arriving at the High Court. Ler was on Oct 17 found guilty by a district judge of injecting drug abusers for a fee and for possessing drug utensils.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Ler Teck Siang, the Singaporean doctor involved in the HIV Registry data leak saga, has been found guilty by a district judge of injecting drug abusers for a fee and for possessing drug utensils.

On Thursday (Oct 17), Ler, 38, was sentenced to 15 months' jail.

This sentence will run after Ler finishes serving his two-year sentence for helping his HIV-positive former partner Mikhy Farrera-Brochez cheat the authorities into issuing him a work pass.

Ler was arrested with a convicted drug abuser Sim Eng Chee at the Conrad Centennial Hotel on March 2, after hotel staff found drugs in Sim's hotel room and called the cops.

He was charged with possessing drug-related utensils, and another charge of injecting methamphetamine into Sim on Feb 26 last year.

During a trial spanning five months, Ler told the court that he provided massage services, not "slamming" services - which is slang for the administering of drugs via injection.

He also claimed to have obtained the methamphetamine-stained straw and syringe from his former partner Farrera-Brochez's study, and had plans to use the straw for origami.

The syringe was supposed to be "disposed" of, but he forgot about it for six months. 

The prosecution, led by Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Nicholas Wuan and DPP Desmond Chong, countered that these were lies.

 
 
 
 

Sim had taken the stand earlier in the trial to testify that he hired Ler for "slamming services" ahead of group sex with other men.

Ler and Farrera-Brochez are at the centre of a HIV registry scandal, in which the details of 14,200 HIV-positive patients were leaked online.

Both were earlier handed a two-year sentence.

Ler was sentenced for helping Farrera-Brochez cheat the authorities into issuing a pass for him to work here, while Farrera-Brochez was convicted and sentenced in a United States court for extorting the Singapore Government using the HIV Registry.

Ler is also facing a separate charge under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for failing to take reasonable care to retain possession of the information relating to the HIV Registry, which he had access to when he was head of the National Public Health Unit.

His charge under the OSA and a charge for refusing to provide a urine specimen to narcotics officers will be dealt with in court later this month.