November 28, 2014 / 4:38 AM / 4 years ago

Extra trespass charges for Germans who face caning for Singapore graffiti

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Two Germans, who could face jail and caning in Singapore for breaking into a train depot and spray-painting graffiti on a carriage, have been charged with two extra counts of trespassing, a court heard on Friday.

Andreas Von Knorre and Elton Hinz, both 21, have been charged with entering the depot in Central Singapore on two mornings before spraying graffiti on the train on Nov 8. The pair had their charges read out in German.

Bail was set at S$100,000 ($76,805) and they were told to appear in court on Dec. 17. They have been held in custody since they were arrested in Malaysia and extradited to Singapore a week ago on vandalism and trespass charges.

The new trespass charges relate to them entering the depot on Nov. 6 and 7.

Media pictures last week showed a carriage painted with various letters and designs, although it was not exactly clear what they said.

Singapore, famous for its cleanliness, cracks down hard on even minor crimes like vandalism and has strict fines for littering.

If found guilty of vandalism, Von Knorre and Hinz will both face up to three years in jail or a fine of up to S$2,000, as well as between three and eight strokes of the cane. The trespass charges carry sentences of up to two years in jail, a fine of up to S$1,000, or both.

Their arrests came four years after Swiss national Oliver Fricker was sentenced to seven months in jail and three strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to cutting through the fence of a train depot and spray-painting graffiti on train carriages.

Singapore’s vandalism laws became global news in 1994 when American teenager Michael Fay was caned for damaging cars and public property, despite appeals for clemency from the U.S. government, including then President Bill Clinton.

Reporting By Theodora D'cruz; Editing by Saeed Azhar and Paul Tait

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