Prominent Singapore Catholic figure’s sexual offences: Gag order retained as victims’ protection is ‘paramount interest’, says AGC & More News Here

Tuesday, 07 Jun 2022 9:05 AM MYT

SINGAPORE, June 7 — The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) yesterday mentioned that its “paramount interest” is to guard victims, and {that a} gag order it had utilized for in a sexual offence case involving a Catholic determine was not sought to “protect the interests of the accused person, or of the Catholic Order involved”.

In a media assertion, the AGC mentioned that the gag order was “specifically to protect the identity of the victims“.

The AGC said this in response to a statement released on the website of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore the previous day pertaining to a case where a notable member of a Catholic order was jailed for committing sexual acts on two teenage boys.

The communications office of Archbishop William Goh, who is the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Singapore, said in its statement on Sunday that its request to partially lift a gag order on the case was rejected by AGC.

It had asked AGC to partially lift the gag order in relation to the identity of the offender, the name of the religious order to which he belonged, and the details of the offender’s subsequent treatment and posting.

AGC stressed yesterday that the gag order had covered the identity of the accused because “based on the facts and circumstances of the case, the identification of the accused was likely to lead to the identification of the victims”.

“After the case was brought to court, lawyers acting on behalf of the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore had written to AGC to request for a partial lifting of the gag order.

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“AGC’s paramount interest was, and remains, the protection of victims. We consider every request to lift a gag order carefully as victims’ interests are paramount,” it added.

“Therefore, we could not accede to the request from the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore, and declined to apply to court to have the gag order lifted or varied.” The Catholic order mentioned on Sunday that two teenage boys who had been sexually abused had refused to make police stories in 2009 when the case first got here to mild.

The offender belonged to a spiritual order and was later despatched abroad for rehabilitation and remedy.

Just a month earlier than, Archbishop Goh’s workplace mentioned that it was working with the non secular order to analyze the background of the case.

In the Catholic Church, a spiritual order generally is a non secular institute or neighborhood the place individuals take vows to steer non secular lives and should have mission work associated to social welfare or training. — TODAY

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