Swiss graffiti vandal freed from Singapore jail

A Swiss citizen has returned to Switzerland after serving five months of a seven-month sentence in Singapore for vandalism and trespassing.

This content was published on November 16, 2010 - 11:00 and agencies

The 32-year-old computer consultant also faced three strokes of the cane for breaking into a train depot with an accomplice and drawing graffiti on two subway carriages on May 16. It was unclear, however, whether he actually received a lashing.

An official at the Swiss embassy in Singapore confirmed that the man had been released from Changi prison and had immediately boarded a plane for Switzerland.

Authorities said the man was let out after five months for good behaviour.

He committed the offence alongside a Briton who fled the country and was not put on trial. Workers did not report the crime for two days.

Singapore punishes vandals severely with up to eight lashes of the cane, three years in prison and a fine of up to 2,000 Singapore dollars (SFr1,515).

"Their conduct was nothing short of audacious and intemperate. This was a stunt that was plainly designed to attract international notoriety to a pair of irresponsible, attention-seeking individuals," the judge said when sentencing the man.

"The laws of Singapore proscribing vandalism are indeed severe. However, needless to say, these are the very laws that are largely responsible for a clean and graffiti-free environment."

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