Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 04/20/2013 18:41 | By Channel NewsAsia

Allegations of police abuse by ex-SMRT bus drivers are baseless: MHA

Allegations of police abuse by ex-SMRT bus drivers are baseless: MHA

Allegations of police abuse by ex-SMRT bus drivers are baseless: MHA

SINGAPORE: The Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) said allegations of police abuse by two ex-SMRT bus drivers were baseless.

The Police Internal Affairs Office (IAO) has completed its investigation into allegations by 32-year-old He Junling and 33-year-old Liu Xiangying that they were abused by police investigators.

Both were involved in instigating other SMRT bus drivers to take part in an illegal strike last November.

They first made their police abuse allegations through an online video, two months after the alleged incidents.

He and Liu had alleged they were physically abused and threatened by their interrogators when in police custody in the days after the strike.

However, in a statement on Saturday, MHA said prior to the video, neither He nor Liu had raised any allegations or formal complaints of abuse despite having had ample opportunities to do so.

They could have raised the issue while they were in police lock-up, when they were charged in court on 29 November or after they were released on bail on 6 December.

Police also did not receive any complaints from the Chinese Embassy in relation to the strikers.

Even after the video was released, neither He nor Liu nor their lawyers reported the allegations to the authorities.

He and Liu finally gave details of the alleged abuses to the police in February and March this year.

MHA said both retracted their allegations in statements to the Police Internal Office.

MHA added that He's statements were contradictory.

He retracted his allegations but yet maintained that the allegations were true.

During its investigations, the IAO interviewed 10 persons believed to be implicated or have knowledge of the allegations of abuse.

Following the findings, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean said allegations of police abuse are taken very seriously.

Mr Teo said where there is wrongdoing, the officers will be dealt with.

This is essential to maintain professionalism, public trust and confidence in the police.

Mr Teo added officers should be given support when individuals or groups who break the law or condone illegal actions, make baseless, false allegations against them.

He said the investigations have vindicated the officers and protected their reputations.

Separately, the Attorney-General's Chambers said it is considering whether to take action against the producer of the online video, Lee Seng Lynn, which contains the allegations made by the two ex-SMRT bus drivers. - CNA/ck

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