Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 11/19/2012 23:06 | By Channel NewsAsia

Former CNB chief testifies in corruption trial

Former CNB chief testifies in corruption trial

Former CNB chief testifies in corruption trial

SINGAPORE: Former Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon Gay took the stand on Monday after District Judge Siva Shanmugam’s decision that there is a case for him to answer in his corruption trial.

Ng, 46, is charged with obtaining sexual gratification from IT sales executive Cecilia Sue on four occasions in 2011, allegedly in exchange for furthering her employers’ business interests.

Ng took centrestage on Day 10 of his trial when defence opened its case.

During the three—hour testimony, Ng told the court how he had an intimate sexual relationship with Ms Sue.

He said he first got to know Ms Sue in 2009. They bonded over his mother who suffered from pancreatic cancer and has since died.

He said the affair continued for about three years and there was never a break—up as claimed by the prosecution.

Ng also told the court that they continued to meet up even after Ms Sue gave birth to her daughter in May 2010.

Describing Ms Sue as "a willing party", he said she performed oral sex on him about 20 to 30 times in the course of their affair. He said they also had sexual intercourse.

When asked by Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng if he ever revealed confidential information about the budget of the Central Narcotics Bureau, Ng said he did not do so.

Ng testified after District Judge Siva Shanmugam found there was a case to answer.

In coming to the decision, District Judge Siva Shanmugam said the court is obliged to be open—minded about the veracity of the evidence of the witnesses.

In the morning, the prosecution laid out the reasons why there is a case for Ng to answer, contrary to what the defence claimed.

Lead prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee said the defence misunderstood the law, misapprehended the nature of the charges and mis—characterised the evidence. He also highlighted elements of the charges, first of which was gratification.

The defence said previously it was Ms Sue’s evidence that Ng never obtained the sexual gratification he wanted from her.

But under the Prevention of Corruption Act, DPP Tan said whether or not the oral sex is adequate or satisfactory is irrelevant.

What’s relevant is that gratification took place.

On the defence’s argument that there was no favour performed by Ng, DPP Tan said the lack of expressed or overt favour rendered is immaterial.

On corrupt element and guilty knowledge, DPP Tan pointed out that as a public servant, especially an agency’s head, Ng should have declared the conflict of interests.

He said Ng could have done so without giving details and could have walked away from being an approving authority of tenders. But Ng did not do so.

He added that the law was designed to compel every public servant so he will not accept cash or in—kind from the public, unless he had legitimate reasons to do so.

As to Ms Sue’s credibility, he said she only had difficulty testifying when it came to questions about her intimate relationship with Ng. But the defence begged to differ.

In rebuttal, Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng said the prosecution was making "motherhood statements".

He said there’s no dispute that sex can amount to a favour and thus gratification, but not all sexual acts are favours as they took place when Ng and Ms Sue were having an affair.

He also said the prosecution has misinterpreted his submissions on no case to answer.

He asked whether failure to declare a conflict of interest amounts to corruption and if it’s fair to do so.

The defence said it would take "a quantum leap of logic" to equate non—disclosure as "corrupt intent".

Ng will take the stand on Tuesday. The defence will also call two other witnesses to the stand.

— CNA/ac/de

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