Leeson applies for early release

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NICK LEESON, the rogue trader who triggered the collapse of Barings Bank, yesterday applied to the Singaporean authorities for early release from jail on grounds of ill health.

Leeson, 31, was recently found to have a cancer of the colon which has spread to his lymph glands. He was moved to hospital from Changi Jail and had an operation on Sunday. A tumour was removed, together with part of his large intestine.

A representative from the British High Commission visited Leeson yesterday and reported that his condition was stable. Doctors said that the operation had gone well, but are still waiting to determine the outcome of the surgery.

The application for Leeson's release was made by lawyers in London who have written to the prisons department in Singapore. The application goes from there to the home affairs ministry and then to the cabinet which will make a recommendation to President Ong Teng Cheong. It is not known how long the process will take.

Leeson was jailed for six and a half years, but after remission for good behaviour he should have less than a year to serve.