SINGAPORE: The trial of former Member of Parliament Choo Wee Khiang started on Tuesday, with the prosecution giving its account of Choo’s role in a conspiracy to secure payment for a trainer who was "moonlighting".
Choo, 58, faces one count of criminal breach of trust (CBT) allegedly committed in 2005 when he was president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA).
Three other charges of corruption allegedly committed between 2003 and 2005 have been stood down and will be dealt with separately at a later date.
Choo, who resigned from the STTA in July 2008, was charged in court in late 2011.
The prosecution said in its opening address on Tuesday that between 2001 and 2003, former assistant coach Luo Jie had been moonlighting and had provided table tennis training to students of Fuhua Secondary School.
But Luo’s work pass only permitted him to work for the STTA. So the school was unable to pay him for the training.
The prosecution said an upset Luo told Choo and Koh Li Ping, STTA’s then high performance manager, about this.
In June 2004, the school engaged the STTA for table tennis consultancy and coaching services.
The prosecution is accusing Choo of conspiring with Koh to use proceeds from the 2004 contract to pay Luo a total of S$8,400 for training the students of Fuhua.
Koh, 44, faces one count of abetting Choo.
Fourteen prosecution witnesses are expected to take the stand, including current STTA president Lee Bee Wah and former Fuhua Secondary School principal, Ong Kian Choon.
The court heard from two witnesses that Choo wielded a significant amount of power during his tenure as president of the association.
The maximum punishment for CBT is life imprisonment and a fine.
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