SINGAPORE: The National University of Singapore (NUS) law professor who is on trial for corruption in a sex—for—grades case will defend himself in court.
Tey Tsun Hang, 41, made the request in an unexpected twist minutes into the trial on Thursday morning.
Although confusion and disagreement arose over his request, the matter was eventually sorted out after an hour.
Tey appeared to be ready to defend himself. He arrived in court dressed in a grey pin—striped suit. He later changed into a court dress after he asked to defend himself.
He is accused of obtaining gratification in the form of sex on two occasions, as well as gifts including a Montblanc pen, an iPod and tailor—made shirts between May and July 2010.
The prosecution said these were inducements to show favour in his assessment of Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui’s academic performance.
Ninety minutes into the trial, key prosecution witness Darinne Ko was called to the stand.
The 23—year—old former student of Tey said they came to know each other in January 2010.
She told the court she liked Tey as a friend and had given him the 740—dollar Montblanc pen as a belated birthday gift in May 2010.
She also bought him two custom—made shirts worth more than S$230 and an iPod Touch worth S$160 from an online forum as a romantic gesture.
Ms Ko told the court that they were dating at that time, "so it did not seem incongruous" to give Tey gifts.
The court heard that as the two interacted more frequently in April 2010, Tey would meet Ms Ko for lunch about two to three times a week. He would pick her up from her workplace and pay for the lunches.
Tey is also accused of corruptly obtaining gratification in the form of payment of a bill of S$1,280 for a dinner he hosted at Garibaldi restaurant in July 2010.
The dinner for nine was meant to thank his former students, including Ms Ko, for helping him with research work.
But Ms Koh later revealed that after their relationship ended, she asked for Tey to pay her back S$1,000 and he did so.
Some six hours into her testimony, Ms Ko recounted her very first sexual experience, which was with Tey in his NUS office in July 2010. She was clearly distressed as she teared and tried to cover her face with one hand. This was a clear contrast to the calm and collected manner in which she answered other questions.
Ms Ko told the court she had sex with Tey because she loved him.
The court was also told Tey went to the United States in September 2010 to visit her when she was there for an overseas study stint.
But they got found out by Ms Ko’s then—boyfriend, who reported the matter to her parents.
Eventually, she was made to cut all ties with Tey and did so.
The prosecution said in its opening statement that Tey had revealed confidential class ranking as well as results to Ms Ko to demonstrate his power over her.
It said Tey had taken advantage of his student and the transactions were "tainted with an objectively corrupt element".
The trial continues.
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