SINGAPORE: The former chief of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Peter Lim may have to testify in court in his own defence on March 21 if the district judge decides there is sufficient evidence against him.
This comes after the prosecution wrapped up its case on Wednesday after its key witness, Madam Pang Chor Mui, said the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) recording officer told her she gave the "wrong answer".
Defence counsel Hamidul Haq had questioned her about the two reasons she gave the CPIB for performing oral sex on Lim.
Lim, 52, is accused of obtaining sexual favour from Mdm Pang in exchange for advancing her company’s business interests.
On March 18, Mdm Pang said she had a sexual encounter with Lim in May 2010 only because she liked him a lot.
However, on March 19, she clarified that her CPIB statement was more accurate.
In her statement, Mdm Pang listed two reasons — that she liked Lim a lot and didn’t want to antagonise him.
She said it wouldn’t be good for their friendship or the ties between Nimrod Engineering and SCDF.
On Wednesday, Mdm Pang said the CPIB recording officer Osman Ahamed told her that she liking Lim a lot was the wrong answer.
After giving it much thought, she then added another reason — that she didn’t want to antagonise Lim.
The 49—year—old explained that she was "very tired" and "wanted to get out of the place (CPIB)", so she "just gave an answer".
"When I gave that "antagonise" (reason), I don’t really mean it. I guess at that time, I just wanted to get out of the place. I just gave an answer. I was hoping that I could be released and I was really very tired through all these sessions," she said when the defence asked her.
This prompted the prosecution to ask Mdm Pang what she meant.
She said at the time of the recording, the word "antagonise" did not come to her mind.
Not wanting to antagonise Lim, she explained, was a possibility and that was why she told that to Mr Osman.
Later, when probed further by the prosecution, Mdm Pang said: "I know that if I didn’t complete that thing (the CPIB statement recording), I would not be able to leave that place (CPIB)."
Having said that, Mdm Pang maintained she told the truth in her statement and that she had not been lying.
Another key point raised on Wednesday was that Nimrod benefited from Lim’s tip off.
The prosecution’s case is that Lim tipped off Nimrod about SCDF’s need for the radiation portal monitors even before the information was made public.
On March 17, 2011, Lim asked Mdm Pang through text messages if Nimrod had radiation portal monitors.
The next day, under Mdm Pang’s instruction, her colleague started sourcing for a supplier.
The process took seven days.
On April 20, Nimrod decided to bid for the project which closed on May 3.
The prosecution pointed out that Nimrod would not have been able to meet the deadline if not for the fact it already found a supplier as Lim had informed Mdm Pang.
While Mdm Pang explained that it would still have been possible had they not found a supplier by April 20, she admitted that it would have been more difficult without Lim’s help.
Earlier in the day during Mr Haq’s cross—examination, Mdm Pang testified that she did not make any suggestion on the pricing of the bid for SCDF’s tender.
On Lim asking if Nimrod carried walk—through radiation portal monitors, she agreed with the defence that the word she used in her statement to describe this should have been "informed" and not "alerted".
SCDF officer Yazid Abdullah also testified in court for a few minutes in the afternoon.
In the last half hour of the hearing, the prosecution amended the location of the oral sex encounter in the charge against Lim, to "in the vicinity of Tanjong Rhu".
This comes after Mdm Pang testified that it was not at a carpark at Stadium Walk as stated previously.
Now that the prosecution has wrapped up its case, the defence will make submissions on March 21 to say that there is no case to answer.
If denied by the district judge, Lim will be taking the stand.
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