13 Cops Under Investigation After Photos And Details Of Tahfiz Teen Suspects Were Leaked
Photos and details of the seven teenagers related to the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz school fire tragedy have been circulating on social media since Friday, 15 September
Sensitive information related to the suspects were leaked to the public ahead of an urgent press conference by the Kuala Lumpur police chief commissioner Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh at 8pm on 16 September.
During the press conference, Amar Singh revealed details about the seven teenagers, whom the authorities believe had set fire to the tahfiz school. The incident claimed the lives of 23 people.
Berita Harian reported that the press conference was initially scheduled for 11am on 17 September. However, the police had brought it forward as confidential information on the investigations was already viral on social media.
A total of 13 police officers are being investigated over the leaked information
The authorities launched the investigation on Saturday, 16 September and have recorded statements from 13 of its officers.
According to Kuala Lumpur CID (Criminal Investigations Department) chief SAC Rusdi Mohd Isa, the case is being investigated under Section 233 of the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 for improper use of network facilities and Section 203A for disclosure of information.
No arrests have been made so far.
However, new developments have suggested that a director of a government agency was the one who allegedly leaked the information
New Straits Times reported that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was told that an agency, and not the police, was responsible for the leak. He received the information from Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun and Amar Singh.
"This should not have happened and all quarters should respect the investigation process. No head of department or agency should share sensitive information before the investigation is concluded," he told reporters yesterday, 17 September.
He explained that such information was withheld from the public to avoid disrupting the investigation process.
Meanwhile, some netizens have reminded the public not to spread photos or information on the suspects, who are between the ages of 11 and 18
It is against the law to publish and circulate information or photo of a child which may lead to the identification of the child concerned, whether the act is done by individuals, or by print, electronic, and social media.
This is because all children under the age of 18 are protected under the Child Act 2001 (Act 601). Under Section 15 of the Act, restrictions are being imposed on reporting and publishing pictures of children in criminal cases.
Offenders can be charged under Section 15 of the Act, which carries a maximum fine of RM10,000 or a jail term of up to five years, or both.