Tampering with, or destroying evidence during a criminal investigation in Singapore is a serious matter, as it can undermine the integrity of the legal system, and impede the administration of justice. Examples of these include deleting documents, destroying or discarding electronic or storage devices, as well as SIM cards, or anything that could have been used as evidence in a court case.
Under the Penal Code, there are several provisions that address the tampering or destruction of evidence. Section 201 states that whoever causes any evidence of an offence to disappear, intending thereby to prevent the same from being produced, is liable to be punished. Similarly, Section 191 of the Penal Code states that whoever alters or fabricates any evidence with the intention of using it as genuine is also liable to be punished.
Fabricating evidence is an offence too
Section 192 of the Penal Code also addresses the fabrication of false evidence. Whoever fabricates false evidence at any stage of a judicial proceeding, whether involving a public servant or before an arbitrator, and knows it to be false, shall be punished accordingly. Attempts to provide some form of gratification in exchange for false testimony as a witness will also be an offence under this section.
Therefore, trying to edit video footage to change any sequences, or simply writing false details into a log sheet, or even asking someone else to take the blame in exchange for a reward will all be considered offences too.
It is important to note that any party making a claim that evidence has been tampered with, must provide proof of it, such as by obtaining and producing expert evidence. These provisions provide strict punishments for those who tamper with or destroy evidence. Depending on the severity of the case, the punishment may range from a fine to imprisonment for up to seven years.
Engaging a Lawyer
If you suspect someone is tampering with or destroying evidence during a case, it’s best to notify the police. As experienced legal professionals, we can provide you with the best advice for your situation, and help guide you through the legal process and court orders.
Mr. Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Corporation has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years, from serious offences and high-profile criminal cases to family, and divorce matters. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and a wealth of experience, Mr. Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.