SINGAPORE - A Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilot who shared a photograph of a dead maid in a WhatsApp group after it was sent to him by his paramedic girlfriend has been found guilty of two offences under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
Fazli Hisham Mohd Fairuz Shah, 29, was convicted on Monday (Aug 26) following a trial.
His girlfriend Nurizzah Afiqah Hussain, who was working for private ambulance operator Unistrong Technology at the time, was fined $3,000 in August last year after pleading guilty to two OSA-related offences.
The 27-year-old had been attending an incident at a condominium in eastern Singapore on Feb 1, 2017, when ambulance driver Shaik Haziq Fahmi Shaik Nasair Johar took a photo of the woman and shared it in a WhatsApp group called STN21.
Nurizzah, who was part of the group, then forwarded it to her boyfriend. He was then an SIA pilot but has since left the airline.
In turn, Fazli shared it in a group of friends and acquaintances, along with a photo of a document which stated "Maid hung (sic) herself on the fan".
This picture of the document had also been sent by Nurizzah, the court heard.
In his defence, he 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)".
On Monday, District Judge Luke Tan said that Fazli's would have been aware that the pictures were obtained by Nurizzah in the course of her work.
DPP Lee added that a man from Fazli's WhatsApp group shared the two 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.
Nurizzah and Haziq are no longer working for Unistrong Technology.
In August last year, Nurizzah was fined $3,000 after pleading guilty to two offences under the OSA.
Haziq was fined $1,500 the following month for committing a similar offence.
Fazli is now out on bail of $5,000 and is due back in court on Sept 2.
The DPP said: "The accused informed that after becoming a qualified pilot, he began flying in October 2016, after being employed by (SIA), till July 2017."
For each charge of the offence, Fazli could be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $2,000.