SINGAPORE: The court on Tuesday rejected a request for a gag order on naming the woman in the centre of the sex—for—contracts case involving former Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) chief Ng Boon Gay.
Ng, 46, was in court at the start of his 18—day trial, which will take place over three months.
Ng arrived just after 9am, accompanied by his wife and lawyers, Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng and Ms Melanie Ho from WongPartnership.
Dressed in a light blue striped shirt, he appeared calm.
Ng has been charged with four counts of corruptly obtaining sexual favours from 36—year—old Ms Cecilia Sue Siew Nang, who was a sales manager of two IT vendors.
He allegedly breached the Prevention of Corruption Act by engaging in oral sex with Ms Sue on four occasions, between June and December 2011.
Ms Sue was the sales manager of Hitachi Data Systems from June to November 2011.
She joined Oracle Corporation Singapore in December last year as its senior sales manager.
In exchange, Ng allegedly furthered the business interests of the two IT companies in their dealings with the CNB.
When proceedings started at about 10am, Deputy Chief Prosecutor (DCP) of Economic Crimes and Governance Division, Tan Ken Hwee, applied for a gag order to protect the identity of Ms Sue, saying she is "not coping well with the situation she is in".
The court heard she is "certified clinically depressed" and that further media coverage and replication of her name is "detrimental to her well being".
A report by an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist quoted by the prosecution said Ms Sue has "self—harm" tendencies.
But the prosecution said her depression will not affect her ability to be cross—examined by the defence.
Defence counsel Tan Chee Meng objected to the gag order application, saying this is the first time he has heard of a central witness being given anonymity.
Mr Tan said confidentiality has irretrievably been lost as Ms Sue’s name and pictures have been published.
He said if Ms Sue’s identity is protected, then if Ng is acquitted, the public would not know he was cleared of charges relating to her.
The District Judge rejected the gag order application, saying he was not convinced it was needed.
In his opening address, DCP Tan Ken Hwee acknowledged that Ng did not influence tenders, committees or his subordinates in acquiring the contracts, nor was he involved in the procurement processes.
However, he noted that Ng had reason to believe that Ms Sue had pursued procurement opportunities and thus insisted on sexual favours knowing she would not reject as she wanted to further business interests.
DCP Tan added that Ms Sue felt pressured into performing oral sex on Ng as she was concerned that the business relationship would be jeopardised.
He also gave evidence of incidents where the alleged dates of oral sex coincided with procurement or business opportunities for Ms Sue.
Defence counsel Tan Chee Meng described the charges as "bad" because these lacked details.
He questioned the prosecution on how Ng could have furthered Ms Sue’s business interests if he had no influence on the committee nor instructed his subordinates to show favour.
The first prosecution witness to testify in the afternoon was managing director of Oracle, Mr Leslie Ong.
Through Mr Ong, the prosecution set out Ms Sue’s role in Oracle Singapore where he identified Ms Sue as being in charge of the CNB account.
When it came to the defence’s turn to cross—examine the witness, sparks flew as prosecution objected to certain requests made by the defence.
These requests included business charts mentioned by Mr Ong.
Mr Ong will be back on the stand on Wednesday.
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