SINGAPORE: The trial involving former President of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA), Choo Wee Khiang, resumed on Monday with his defence lawyer grilling the sixth prosecution witness, accusing him of being biased.
Choo, 58, a former Member of Parliament, faces one count of criminal breach of trust allegedly committed in 2005, when he was the STTA president.
Prosecution is alleging that Choo conspired with a former manager, Koh Li Ping to secure payment of S$8,400 for coach Luo Jie, who "moonlighted" at Fuhua Secondary School between 2001 and 2003.
Koh, 44, is accused of abetting Choo.
Witness Soon Min Sin told the court that the use of monies received from the contract to pay Luo was improper.
The court heard that Mr Soon had a discussion with Ms Wong Hui Leng, the former STTA general manager.
Ms Wong is now the STTA’s chief executive officer.
Mr Soon said he had called a meeting on 1 March 2013 — a day after the first tranche of the trial wrapped up. He met with Ms Wong and two others, and the court heard that the discussion centred on the evidence Ms Wong gave when she testified in court as the third witness.
This prompted the defence to say that Mr Soon’s testimony on Monday depended on what Ms Wong told him and that the evidence was unreliable.
Mr Soon disagreed.
But he did admit that it was hard to differentiate from his recollection, what was and was not influenced by the discussion with Ms Wong.
The defence continued grilling Mr Soon on his role in signing the cheque made out by STTA to Luo.
A payment voucher was raised at that time, approved by Choo, and needed two signatures, one of which was Mr Soon’s. The defence asked going by general practice, if Mr Soon should have ensured the purpose of the payment before signing.
But Mr Soon explained that the payment voucher didn’t look suspicious.
He added later that while supporting documents were attached to the payment voucher, there were times when he went through them and times he did not.
Mr Soon also testified that when he wanted to leave STTA, Choo persuaded him to stay on.
He said it was because he didn’t want to offend Choo.
The trial continues.
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