S’pore has extradition treaty with USA, suspected HIV leaker could be brought back to face charges
There are many conditions in place that could lead to his extradition back here.
Although no charges have been filed against the American who stole and leaked the details of 14,200 HIV-infected patients from the Ministry of Health’s registry (MOH), the Singapore Police are “seeking the help of foreign counterparts in investigations”, The Straits Times (ST) reported.
However, should charges eventually be pressed against Mikhy Brochez in relation to the case, Singapore is likely to be able to have him extradited back here, thanks to an extradition treaty that we have signed with the U.S.
Under what terms could Brochez be extradited for?
The extradition treaty between the U.S. and Singapore is what the U.S. calls “an old style ‘list’ treaty”, that was first signed in 1931, then renewed in 1969.
The most likely basis upon which the extradition of Brochez to Singapore in the treaty would be allowed appears to be:
“Obtaining money, valuable security, or goods, by false pretences; receiving any money, valuable security, or other property, knowing the same to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained. (emphasis ours)“
Ler Teck Siang, Brochez’s partner, was head of the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) National Public Health Unit (NPHU) from 2012 to 2013.
Ler had reportedly downloaded the HIV Registry onto a USB thumb drive during this period, which is likely how the data eventually came to be in Brochez’s possession.
The Singaporean was subsequently charged in June 2016 for offences under the Penal Code and the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for failing to take reasonable care of confidential information regarding HIV-positive patients.
He was also charged last year for abetting Brochez in cheating MOM over the latter’s HIV-positive status and of providing false information to the police and MOH.
Supposedly jobless and homeless because of news in Singapore
Brochez is currently pending a charge of criminal trespass on his mother’s property back in the American state of Kentucky.
In a phone call with ST, Brochez claimed that news of his alleged role in the HIV registry leak, apart from being “terribly nasty and inaccurate”, had resulted in him being fired from his job — he didn’t say what he was working as, though.
Brochez also claimed that was currently homeless and living out of his car.
ST further highlighted that Brochez had agreed at one point to a meeting with one of its reporters, to show supposed evidence of his innocence in the case.
However, Brochez then cancelled the meeting afterwards, claiming that a U.S. FBI agent had “advised him not to speak”.
ST added that when Brochez was asked about his arrest for criminal trespass, the call ended abruptly.
Should Brochez get charged for criminal trespass, he will face either a fine of up to US$250 or a diversion programme, where the offender joins a rehabilitation program of sorts, according to U.S. law office Lexington Defense.
More information on Mikhy K Farrera Brochez:
Questions on how the issue has been handled so far:
Top image collage from US EAP Bureau Twitter and The Independent.