Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 12/23/2013 15:52 | By Channel NewsAsia

Little India riot: Charges against 3 men withdrawn

Little India riot: Charges against 3 men withdrawn


Little India riot: Charges against 3 men withdrawn

SINGAPORE: Another three Indian nationals alleged to have participated in the Little India riot on December 8 had their charges withdrawn on Monday.

The three men were released on Monday evening.

Responding to queries, the police said that they have been issued with formal police advisories.

The three men will be allowed to stay on in Singapore and continue with their employment, on condition of continued good behaviour. 

Monday's development brings the total number of alleged rioters who had their charges dropped to 10.

Seven of them were released on December 17 after the prosecution dropped their charges.

The remaining 25 Indian nationals accused of participating in the riot will have their cases mentioned on Friday.

During the hour-long hearing on Monday, the prosecution sought for bail not to be granted, citing several reasons.

Prosecutor John Lu said the 25 men face serious charges which carry severe punishments if they were to be convicted.

He pointed out the accused pose a flight risk as they have no roots in Singapore.

Mr Lu also argued there is a risk that they will re-offend if they were to be released on bail.

The prosecution said the situation is "volatile" as it is, and if the accused were to be allowed bail, they might spark another unrest.

But District Judge Lim Tse Haw dismissed the argument as irrelevant.

Meanwhile, the defence lawyers -- who are volunteers -- argued the prosecution had conceded that they did not have "credible grounds" and evidence to show that granting the accused bail would cause unrest.

The defence said bail is usually not granted in special circumstances, so the court should not depart from the usual practice in treating the foreign workers.

This was a sentiment shared by Judge Lim, who said the purpose of setting bail is to ensure the accused attend court.

He ordered bail to be set at S$20,000 for each of the accused and ordered them to report to the authorities every week.

The judge also told the 25 men to not enter the area demarcated by the police for the alcohol sales ban in the Little India vicinity.

The prosecution has indicated it will file a criminal motion in the High Court on the issue of bail. - CNA/fa/gn/nd

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