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Visiting Swiss President Doris Leuthard said Friday that her country accepted the conviction of a Swiss national sentenced to caning and jail for vandalism in Singapore, adding that she did not ask the city-state’s authorities for clemency.
“For us, it’s not a big debate because, obviously, this Swiss citizen did not follow the laws of Singapore,” said Leuthard after a one-day working visit to the island state.
In June, a Singapore court sentenced Oliver Fricker, 32, to three strokes of a cane and five months in jail for breaking into a train depot and spray-painting two metro carriages on May 16.
Leuthard said she respected the decision “but the perception in our country is not a positive one.”
She said she had discussed the case with Singapore President SR Nathan but did not ask for a more lenient sentence.
“We agreed that we have difficult views on punishment,” she said.
Singapore’s strict upholding of rules and punishment became famous when in 1994 it caned US teenager Michael Fay for vandalism despite pleas from the United States for clemency.