Pang's death: Two SAF servicemen charged in military court
They were in the cabin of a howitzer artillery gun with late actor Aloysius Pang (photo)
Two soldiers who were in the cabin of a howitzer artillery gun with the late actor Aloysius Pang were charged in military court yesterday.
The first was operationally ready national serviceman, Third Sergeant (NS) Hubert Wah Yun Teng, 31. The other was Military Expert 2 (ME2) Ivan Teo Gee Siang, 35.
Wah, a gun commander, faces two charges: one charge of causing death by a rash act under the Penal Code, and one charge of causing death by a negligent act under the Penal Code.
A person convicted of causing death by rash act faces a jail term of up to five years, a fine, or both. Anyone convicted of causing death by a negligent act may be jailed for up to two years, fined, or given both punishments.
Teo, a regular technician, faced one charge of disobedience of general orders under the SAF Act, and two charges of causing death by a negligent act under the Penal Code.
A serviceman convicted of disobedience of general orders may be jailed for up to two years.
They were charged at the Court Martial Centre in Kranji Camp II. The military court martial is presided over by a serving State Court judge.
The two servicemen looked solemn as they turned up in court in their green Number 4 uniform accompanied by uniformed escorts and confirmed that the charges had been read to them when asked by the judge.
The court heard that both servicemen have applied for pro bono legal services. Proceedings were adjourned for four weeks for a pre-trial conference with a date yet to be fixed.
The judge granted bail of $5,000 each with surety and for the servicemen's passports to be impounded.
Corporal First Class (NS) Aloysius Pang, an armament technician from the 268th Battalion Singapore Artillery, died on Jan 23, four days after he was seriously injured while in the Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer (SSPH) during a live-firing exercise in New Zealand.
As CFC Pang, 28, died in New Zealand, the Singapore police do not have jurisdiction to conduct investigations into his death, said Mindef.
"Investigations into his death were conducted by the SAF's Special Investigation Branch (SIB), and the Chief Military Prosecutor has decided to prosecute the two SAF servicemen based on the investigation findings of the SIB," it added.
Reporting the findings of an independent Committee of Inquiry (COI) set up to investigate his death, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told Parliament in May that each of the three soldiers in the cabin of the SSPH had committed lapses that led to the actor's death.
Among other breaches, the three men - including the gun commander and regular technician - failed to follow the requirement that everyone must be in safe positions during the movement of the gun barrel.
The COI also found that in their panic when CFC Pang was hit, both servicemen had acted irrationally instead of pushing emergency stop buttons in the cabin.