SINGAPORE: The corruption trial of former Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) chief Peter Lim Sin Pang has started.
Lim, 52, arrived at the Subordinate Courts at about 9am on Monday, accompanied by his lawyers.
Lim is accused of obtaining sex from Ms Pang Chor Mui of Nimrod Engineering in exchange for advancing her company’s business interests.
Ms Pang was a general manager when she allegedly had oral sex with Lim in May 2010 at a carpark in Stadium Walk.
In his opening statement, lead prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng said Lim knew that Nimrod Engineering was an existing vendor to the agency at the time of his alleged offence in May 2010.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan told the court that Nimrod had supplied products to the SCDF and provided after—sales warranty services for those products.
DPP Tan said that when Lim obtained oral sex from Ms Pang, he knew she was the general manager in Nimrod and "knew that she was aware of his position as the Commissioner of SCDF".
It is the prosecution’s case that Lim knew or had reason to believe that Ms Pang would give in to his request for oral sex, as Ms Pang was interested in having further business dealings between her company and SCDF.
DPP Tan added that Lim also knew that Ms Pang was aware that he was involved in the approval process for contracts awarded by SCDF to vendors.
Defence counsel Hamidul Haq argued that Lim "categorically denies" any allegation of corruption.
Mr Haq said the charge against Lim does not specify the act of corruption and fails to link the physical encounter between Ms Pang and Lim to the alleged corrupt act.
Mr Haq added that Lim does not have guilty knowledge nor corrupt intent as the intimacy between the two arose out of a longstanding friendship.
The defence counsel also said that there was no intention by Ms Pang to use the sexual act as an inducement.
Mr Haq said the SCDF tender was an open, not a closed, process.
In summary, he said Lim’s only wrongdoing was his "personal indiscretion" but the state "is not responsible for policing marital vows".
Ms Pang is expected to take the stand as a witness for the prosecution during the trial which is expected to last until 21 March.
Nine other charges of corruption against Lim were stood down in 2012 and will be dealt with separately.
The charges involve sex with two other women — senior executives Esther Goh of IT firm NCS and Ms Lee Wei Hoon of Singapore Radiation Centre.
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