Singapore police question student in Lee Kuan Yew death hoax

AP News
Posted: Mar 20, 2015 8:38 AM

SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore police said Friday they are questioning a student over an online hoax that claimed the country's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew had died.

Lee, 91, was admitted to Singapore General Hospital on Feb. 5 for severe pneumonia. This week the government said his condition had deteriorated to critically ill.

The police statement said the suspect is a Singaporean boy younger than 16 who probably acted alone.

The doctored statement purporting to be from the Singapore prime minister's office was circulated on social media on Wednesday.

CNN and several other news organizations briefly reported the fake announcement.

Police said they believe the youth modified a photo of an old announcement from the prime minister's office and posted the altered image online.

The statement said the maximum penalty for computer misuse offenses is 10 years in prison and a Singapore dollars 50,000 fine ($36,000).

On Friday, Singapore's prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is the son of Lee Kuan Yew, said his father's condition remained critical.