Judge dismisses appeals by SDP members and supporters

SINGAPORE : The High Court dismissed the appeals of some Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) members and supporters in three separate cases of illegal assemblies and procession.

In the first case, Justice Woo Bih Li dismissed the appeal of Mr Yap Keng Ho, Ms Chee Siok Chin and Mr Ghandi Karuppiah Ambalam who had been fined $1,000 each for participating in an assembly near Raffles City Shopping Centre on 10 September 2006.

Justice Woo said they did not express or demonstrate any regret that they had broken the law and he did not find the sentence manifestly excessive.

He added that while the SDP had suggested that it had been discriminated against as compared to other opposition parties which had also distributed flyers opposing the government, there was no evidence of unlawful discrimination in bringing the charges against the trio.

The second appeal by Mr Yap, Ms Chee, Mr Ghandi and Dr Chee Soon Juan against their conviction and $1,000 fine each for attempting to take part in a procession from Speakers’ Corner to Parliament House, was also dismissed.

Justice Woo noted that the district judge had said they showed "a deliberate disregard of the law and a refusal to heed the warnings of police officers..."

In the third case, the four of them, together with Mr John Tan Liang Joo, Mr Seelan Palay, Mr Chong Kai Xiong, Mr Muhammad Shafi’ie Syahmi Bin Sariman, Ms Go Hui Leng and Mr Mohamed Jufrie bin Mahmood lost their appeal against their convictions and sentences for participating in a procession and assembling without permits on 15 March 2008 on the driveway leading to Parliament House at North Bridge Road.

Each of them had been fined $1,800 or $2,000.

— TODAY /ls