SINGAPORE: There was a constant war of words between Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) officer Wilson Khoo and Tey Tsun Hang on the seventh day of the trial, during the accused’s cross—examination of the witness.
Tey, 41, faces allegations that he corruptly obtained gifts and sex from a former student, Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui, in return for giving her better grades.
One area of contention was whether Tey was indeed ill on 2 April last year.
Tey was admitted to hospital on the day he was at the CPIB for questioning.
Tey had felt unwell and was sent to hospital by ambulance.
In Mr Khoo’s diary entry, he wrote the doctor treating Tey was unable to diagnose any medical condition.
Tey accused Mr Khoo of making it sound like "he was play—acting", "trying to fool CPIB officers" and "trying to bamboozle them".
But the witness retorted this was what the doctor told him.
Tey fired back, saying he will prove in due course that the doctor had diagnosed him with "altered mental status" upon hospitalisation.
During the hearing, Mr Khoo said on 4 April, when Tey was to be discharged from the hospital, he could not remember his name, identity card number and address.
He said Tey was overheard saying this to the staff at Alexandra Hospital while he was getting discharged on 4 April 2012.
While making arrangements to do so, one of the doctors tested Tey’s condition and declared that he was not ready to leave hospital care.
Another point of argument — Tey was "overly cooperative" in giving statement to CPIB on 5 April.
Mr Khoo testified that Tey appeared unexpectedly at the CPIB, and insisted on giving his statement.
During the interview, Mr Khoo said Tey repeatedly asked the officer to note the dates of gratification and favours he had received.
He also asked Mr Khoo to tell him what he had allegedly done in exchange for them.
"No accused person would be so actively volunteering such information," said Mr Khoo.
Tey shot back, asking Mr Khoo if he would give CPIB ideas "so that he could be charged with more charges of corruption?".
To which, the witness said: "Yes, your honour. Absolutely!"
Previously, Tey had claimed that CPIB investigator Bay Chun How showed him a list with the names of students and the gifts they purportedly gave.
He said Mr Bay, who took the stand on Thursday, had asked him to confirm the names of the students and gifts. But Mr Bay disagreed.
Heated exchanges also took place between the two over the time taken to record Tey’s statements.
Mr Khoo recorded two of Tey’s statements. One was made on 5 April and the other, 10 April.
The earlier statement, comprising five pages, took some three hours to record while the other four—page statement took two hours 15 minutes.
Tey then made the point that the recordings of a few pages should not take that long, unless there was selective recording and constant badgering by Mr Khoo to give confessions deemed satisfactory to them.
But Mr Khoo said time was taken to interview Tey and the duration also included time taken for Tey to read the recordings before printing.
Another contention was the words "corrupt intent".
Mr Khoo had said Tey had insisted on using those words in his confession.
This drew Tey’s rebuttal: "So the defendant insisted so that he will end up in Changi (prison)?"
Mr Khoo immediately replied: "Yes. He insisted."
During the cross—examination, Tey pointed out that there were several similar entries in not just Mr Khoo’s investigation diary, but Mr Bay’s as well.
The former district judge pointed to entry number 6 made in Mr Khoo’s diary on 2 April 2012, saying it is "word—for—word", exactly the same as Mr Bay’s entry number 12.
He noted that the words "items seized sealed in the bag by me" were used in both entries, describing the same event.
In the end, Mr Khoo ascertained that he was the one who sealed the bag.
Tey also charged that CPIB officers had used expletives on him and pressured him into making confessions. These were all denied by Mr Khoo.
Towards the last half hour of the morning’s proceedings, Tey sprang a surprise during his cross—examination of Mr Khoo.
He showed the witness a receipt of a psychiatric consultation with Dr Tommy Tan, and said Dr Tan will be called to the stand.
This was met with strong objection by lead prosecutor Andre Jumabhoy, who pointed out that Mr Khoo was not in a position to answer questions pertaining to Dr Tan.
He added: "If the defence wishes to call an expert witness, especially one who they have told us they are not calling, they should have at the very least informed us if they had changed their mind and before calling their witness. Bearing in mind he’s an expert, they should produce a report so that we can instruct an expert if necessary."
But Tey rebutted — saying that the prosecution had not been willing to disclose information and provide material to the defence.
This prompted Mr Jumabhoy to say: "I resent the suggestion that the prosecution have not complied with its obligations in respect of disclosure.
"We have, from the very outset way back in August 2012, been serving material on this accused. He has been in receipt of the list of witnesses which have been updated, yes, but at each stage that they have been updated, he has been in receipt of that list."
The DPP went on to say that Tey has known the list of prosecution witnesses two weeks before the trial, which he said, "as a matter of law, is more than he (Tey) has a right to expect".
Mr Jumabhoy then said the accused has not been straight with the court.
He said: "It’s clear from what has happened that this accused has not been straight with the prosecution and certainly not straight with the court. It rings somewhat hollow for him to be suggesting on 18 January that the decision to call Tommy Tan was taken only after hearing Mr Wilson Khoo’s evidence."
In the end, Tey said he would serve the relevant information to the prosecution.
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