Mikhy Farrera Brochez pleaded not guilty on 19 March to charges related to stolen identification documents from Singapore’s HIV Registry, said his lawyer Jay Oakley. Farrera Brochez is facing these charges in a US Federal Court in Kentucky.
The 34-year old American, accused of leaking the personal data of thousands of people from the registry, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the US on several charges including attempting to extort the Singapore Government. He is now in jail at the Fayette Count detention centre where he will remain until his three day trial set for 7 May.
Mr Oakley said that for now, they intend to take this case to trial. However, he still hasn’t seen evidence from the Singapore Government which he will only now have access to during the pre-trial phase which provides for the exchange of information between parties.
Farrera Brochez, who used to work in Singapore as a lecturer, was deported from Singapore in April 2018 after serving time in jail for lying about his HIV status to obtain and then keep his employment pass. In January 2019, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced a massive data leak, saying that they received information that Brochez was in possession of confidential information back in 2016 which he obtained from his partner Ler Teck Siang.
Ler was head of the ministry’s National Public Health Unit from March 2012 to May 2013 and said to have had access to the HIV registry. The leak consisted of confidential information regarding 14,200 individuals diagnosed with HIV up to January 2013. The Singapore Government is now bringing charges against Farrera Brochez in US Court.
In early March, Farrera Brochez was ordered by a US Court to surrender all the data he obtained from the HIV Registry as well as all other confidential information to the Singapore authorities. He was also ordered to permanently delete all information obtained from the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) and Singapore Prisons Services – including data from any computer, storage device, and websites.
Farrera Brochez is also awaiting trial for a separate trespassing charge in Kentucky State Court which has been put on hold until the Federal Case is completed.