SAF captain charged over death of NSF Liu Kai will contest case

Ong Lin Jie (left) will be claiming trial after being charged with doing a rash act causing the death of NSF Liu Kai. PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW, MINDEF

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) captain charged for his role in the incident that led to the death of full-time national serviceman (NSF) Liu Kai will be contesting the matter.

Regular serviceman Ong Lin Jie, 28, was in court on Thursday (Nov 21) with his lawyer, who said the officer will be claiming trial. A pre-trial conference is slated for Dec 23.

Ong was last month charged with doing a rash act causing death.

He had allegedly failed to keep the safety distance of 30m between the Land Rover he was in and a Bionix Infantry Fighting Vehicle, which reversed and mounted the driver's side of the Land Rover during a training exercise at Murai Urban Training Facility on Nov 3 last year.

The 42nd Battalion Singapore Armoured Regiment (42 SAR) was conducting a two-sided company mission exercise that day.

Corporal First Class (CFC) Liu, a 22-year-old transport operator from SAF's Transport Hub West, was then driving Ong, who is from the Active Unit Training Centre. The captain was there to evaluate the exercise troops.

CFC Liu died after the Bionix mounted the Land Rover he was driving, despite repeated commands by the Bionix's rear guide to stop the fighting vehicle.

If convicted, Ong could be jailed for up to five years or fined, or both.

Five national servicemen with the Singapore Civil Defence Force were also charged in October under the Official Secrets Act for the wrongful communication of official information related to the same incident.

SPH Brightcove Video
Emergency horn buttons allowing the crew to alert the driver of any obstacles have been installed in all Bionix vehicles used for training since November 2018. A rear-view camera system will be installed in March.

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