Singapore

SAF captain claims trial over death of NSF in Bionix accident

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) captain charged over his role in the incident that led to the death of full-time national serviceman Liu Kai will be contesting the matter.

Regular serviceman Ong Lin Jie, 28, was in court yesterday with his lawyer, who said that the officer will be claiming trial.

A pre-trial conference is slated for Dec 23. Ong was charged last month with committing a rash act causing death.

He had allegedly failed to keep a safety distance of 30m between the Land Rover that he and Corporal First Class (CFC) Liu were in and a Bionix infantry fighting vehicle.

The Bionix reversed and mounted the driver's side of the Land Rover during a training exercise at Murai Urban Training Facility on Nov 3 last year.

CFC Liu, a 22-year-old transport operator from SAF's Transport Hub West, was then driving Ong, who is from the Active Unit Training Centre.

The captain was there to evaluate the exercise troops. The 42nd Battalion Singapore Armoured Regiment was conducting a two-sided company mission exercise that day.

CFC Liu died after the Bionix, despite repeated commands by its rear guide to stop, mounted the Land Rover.

If convicted, Ong could be jailed for up to five years or fined, or both. - LIM MIN ZHANG

COURT & CRIME