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Teenager who killed Anthony Ler’s wife gets clemency, out of jail after 17 years

SINGAPORE — The teenager who murdered a woman under the instructions of her husband Anthony Ler has been released from prison after serving nearly 17 years behind bars.

In May 2001, Annie Leong (whose photo is framed at her funeral wake) was murdered by a 15-year-old boy. The teen was instigated to commit the crime by Leong's husband Anthony Ler.

In May 2001, Annie Leong (whose photo is framed at her funeral wake) was murdered by a 15-year-old boy. The teen was instigated to commit the crime by Leong's husband Anthony Ler.

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SINGAPORE — The teenager who murdered a woman under the instructions of her husband Anthony Ler has been released from prison after serving nearly 17 years behind bars.

The 32-year-old male Singaporean had his sentence remitted on Nov 2 this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Thursday (Dec 13).

He was 15 when he was convicted of murder and detained at the President's pleasure as he was underage, making it legally impossible for the death penalty to be passed on him. He was also not publicly identified due to his age.

MHA said: “The President, on the advice of the Cabinet, had exercised her powers of clemency and granted the subject a remission of the remaining part of his sentence.

"The factors that were considered included the subject’s good conduct and rehabilitation progress in prison, the total length of the subject’s sentence served thus far, as well as the circumstances of his case."

MHA added: "Conditions, such as curfew hours and electronic monitoring, are imposed to monitor the subject following his release, and further rehabilitative support is provided to aid his reintegration into society."

The trial judge at the time found that the teen had been manipulated by Ler.

Anthony Ler (pictured) was found guilty of abetting a teenager to kill his wife and was executed in 2002. Photo: Channel NewsAsia

The high-profile case shocked the nation when the court heard that Ler, then 34 and a former website designer, offered the teenager S$100,000 to kill his wife, Annie Leong, an insurance agent. She had filed for divorce after their marriage hit the rocks due to his infidelity and debts.

In May 2001, the teenager waited for Leong, 30, at the lift landing on the fourth floor of a public housing block in Hougang.

When Leong emerged from the lift, the teenager approached her from behind and slashed her neck with a steak knife before stabbing her in the chest. Leong died in hospital several hours later.

A psychiatrist report submitted to the court said that the teenager, who had known Ler since he was 10 years old, had looked up to Ler as a role model.

In December 2001, the teenager was convicted of murder in the High Court.

In November 2017, the President’s Office confirmed that it had received a second petition for the Singaporean man’s clemency. The first petition was submitted to former president Tony Tan in 2013.

Ler was hanged in December 2002 after having failed in his appeal against his conviction for abetting the murder of his wife. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

For more stories like this, visit www.channelnewsasia.com.

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