The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) is looking into potential breaches of a court-imposed gag order, it said on Sep. 25.
This is in relation to a high-profile case where a couple was recently charged for the murder of their two-year-old toddler in a Chin Swee Road rental flat.
This AGC move comes a day after a Facebook post was put up on Sep. 24 morning showing purported photographs of the couple and their family, with images of young children clearly visible.
The public Facebook group is accessible by all.
By the end of the day, the post has been shared more than 4,500 times.
It is still up at this time of writing.
The 31-year-old man and the 30-year-old woman cannot be named due to a gag order imposed by the courts.
Gag orders are meant to protect the identity of the victim and the couple’s other children, and are commonly issued to protect vulnerable persons, victims of sexual crimes or minors.
When gag orders are imposed, neither the media nor members of the public can publish any information that could lead to the identification of the persons involved.
In this case, a court imposed gag order restricts the publication of any information or details that could lead to the couple or the girl being identified, such as names and photographs.
This is so even though some of these information might be publicly available on social media as the profiles of those involved are still available.
So far, the only detail released by the authorities is Block 52 Chin Swee Road.
Based on previous reports, the couple has at least three other children.
Anyone who breaches the court-imposed gag order can be jailed for up to a year.
What AGC said
The AGC said on Wednesday: "Statements made by members of the public and media may be in contempt of court where these statements prejudice, interfere with, or pose a real risk of prejudice to or interference with the course of any pending court proceedings."
“All parties are therefore advised to refrain from speculating or making any public comments on matters that may pose a real risk of prejudice to or interference with the ongoing criminal proceedings.”
It takes “a serious view of any act that may constitute contempt or which breach the gag order”, and will “not hesitate to take appropriate action to protect the administration of justice”, despite there being “significant public interest” in the case.