Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 01/22/2013 23:43 | By Channel NewsAsia

NUS law prof Tey takes short break after hyperventilating

NUS law prof Tey takes short break after hyperventilating

NUS law prof Tey takes short break after hyperventilating

SINGAPORE: The first part of the sex—for—grades corruption trial involving the National University of Singapore law professor has ended on a dramatic note.

Tey Tsun Hang started hyperventilating in court during the re—examination of the prosecution’s 13th witness.

The 41—year—old faces allegations of obtaining gratification in the form of gifts and sex from former student Ms Darinne Ko, 23, between May and July 2010, in return for giving her better grades.

Day 9 of Tey Tsun Hang’s corruption trial started with Tey trying to poke holes at the testimony of the deputy director of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) Teng Khee Fatt.

He revisited the issue of the two cheque book entries he claimed would show that he had paid his former student, Ms Ko, for her gifts.

He also reiterated the point he made on Monday about the long hours spent at the CPIB.

Describing it as a "kind suggestion", Tey claimed Mr Teng had advised him not to engage a lawyer or let his colleagues know about the investigation, so that the matter won’t be blown up as it would be disadvantageous if this happened.

This allegedly took place during one of Tey’s conversations with Mr Teng in May last year.

But Mr Teng said that is not true.

Tey also said he had told Mr Teng he was on medication but was made to give confessions anyway.

Mr Teng denied this.

Tey also charged that Mr Teng had to step in on 17 May 2012 to record his fourth statement to "clean up the mess" generated in earlier confessions due to his emergency hospitalisation.

Mr Teng dismissed this, saying he stepped in as he needed a detailed account of what transpired.

Tey also told the court that the three statements recorded on 17, 18 and 24 May 2012 were taken under duress that he was still taking his psychoactive medication then.

But Mr Teng disagreed.

Tey also accused Mr Teng of making threats in Hokkien and Mandarin, which the witness denied.

When it came to lead prosecutor Andre Jumabhoy’s turn to question Mr Teng, the court was told that he did not give instructions to arrest Tey’s wife on 2 April 2012.

That was the day Tey was arrested by the CPIB.

He had accused the bureau of threatening to arrest his wife, who was overseas at that time.

Shortly after the trial resumed in the afternoon, Tey’s lawyer, Mr Peter Low asked for an adjournment as his client wasn’t feeling well and was hyperventilating.

For more than 30 minutes, Tey was seen seated in the dock breathing heavily and also vomiting saliva into a plastic bag.

Channel NewsAsia understands this is not the first time Tey’s acute stress disorder has acted up. Previously, Tey was seen hyperventilating during a criminal motion he filed in the High Court.

Several times during the hearing, chief district judge Tan Siong Thye reminded Tey to focus.

At one point, he told Tey that more irrelevance was creeping into his line of questioning.

So far, prosecution has asked for its trial within a trial case to be left open.

This is for it to decide if it intends to call any other witnesses to prove that Tey’s six statements are admissible or not.

Thereafter, the defence case will start.

The judge will then decide on the admissibility of the statements and the main trial will begin after that.

The trial resumes on 1 April and is expected to last three weeks.

— CNA/al/ck

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