Singapore admits DNA test procedures not followed
Official DNA testing procedures were not properly followed in more than 400 investigations in Singapore, the city-state's authorities have admitted.
The health and home affairs ministries said in a joint statement Tuesday that a reagent -- a substance that produces a chemical reaction -- used in DNA tests between October 2010 and August 2011 was more concentrated than it should have been.
The laboratory manager who prepared the solution alerted his supervisors to the mistake.
In all, 412 cases were reviewed by the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC). It said that the DNA results did not "materially impact" the final resolution of 278 closed criminal cases, but it sought re-tests in 87 pending cases.
Authorities sought to allay fears that the error could have led to wrongful convictions.
"Based on the information at hand, there is no indication that anyone has been wrongly convicted as a result of the use of the reagent," the AGC said.
There was no indication if any of the cases involved the death penalty, which is applied in Singapore to convicted murderers and drug traffickers.
Top criminal lawyer Sunil Sudheesan told AFP on Wednesday that the chances of a miscarriage of justice occurring were slim as DNA was only one of several types of evidence used to prove guilt.
(c) 2012 AFP