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SFD members released from investigation over death penalty book

The SFD trio: Jarrod Luo (far left), Seelan Palay (second from left)

and Rachel Zeng (second from right)

Singaporeans For Democracy (SFD) members Mr Seelan Palay 27, Mr Jarrod Luo 27 and Miss Rachel Zeng 28 had been released from police investigation according to a press release by SFD Executive Director and SDP Party member Dr James Gomez.

The trio were summoned to appear at the Major Crime Division of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at 1130am on 27 January 2011 over the sale of 12 copies of the book Once A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock at a film screening at the Substation on 14 November 2010.

They were investigated under section 502 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224 under the Criminal Procedure Code 2010 (Act 15 of 2010) which states that “sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter, knowing it to contain such matter, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with both”.

According to the press release, the trio were informed this week, 5 months after they were first summoned by the police, that the investigations were completed and they were released from it.

The letter says that the investigations have concluded and after much consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the sale of the books, the Attorney General decided not to take any further actions against the SFD trio.

The press release further states that although SFD members have been released from the investigations, it still does not resolve the lack of clarity over the classification of the said book.

It ends with a call for  the Media Development Authority to take steps to officially ban Once A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock, stating that the absence of classification "continues to put members of the public at legal risk."

Mr Jarrod Luo was one of the Singapore Democratic Party's candidates contesting Sembawang GRC in the recent General Elections.