Published: 02 August 2022
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) how many accused persons have been ordered to be tagged electronically as a condition of their bail since it was introduced in 2018; (b) of these accused persons, how many have absconded whilst being electronically tagged; and (c) whether there is any plan to extend the use of electronic tagging to all accused persons who are facing serious charges so as to reduce the chances of them absconding.
Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law:
1. In the first half of 2022, about 200 accused persons were ordered by the Court to be tagged electronically as a condition of their bail. Of these, two are currently wanted by the Police for failing to attend court proceedings.
2. Under the Criminal Procedure Code, accused persons who are charged for any offence punishable by death or life imprisonment will not be released on bail. For other serious crimes, law enforcement agencies conduct a flight risk assessment of the accused person, taking into consideration, among other factors, the type of crime committed, the penalty of the offence, and the value of the property that is misappropriated.
3. If the Court believes that the accused person poses high risk of abscondment, the Court can order him to be remanded. If the accused person is offered bail nonetheless, the Court can impose electronic tagging. The Court or law enforcement agencies can also impound the travel document of the accused person and increase the number of sureties or the bail amount. If the accused person breaches the conditions of the bail, the Court may order him to be remanded instead.
4. The Ministry of Home Affairs reviews our policies on remand and bail regularly, including the use of electronic tagging for persons released on bail.