SINGAPORE: The former chief of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), Ng Boon Gay, was back in court on Monday, as the prosecution and defence presented their closing arguments.
Ng, 46, is accused of obtaining oral sex from 36—year—old Cecilia Sue, a former IT sales representative, in exchange for helping to further the business interests of her employers between July and December 2011.
Lead prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee, in his closing arguments, posed this question —— why would Ms Sue perform oral sex on Ng?
The lead prosecutor said the basic facts of the case are that Ng obtained sexual favours from a sales representative interested in closing deals with the CNB and that he had never declared the conflict of interests to the bureau.
He said Ms Sue had told Ng the deals she was pursuing, but Ng never once told her that he would disqualify himself from any decision—making relating to those IT procurements.
A key point was raised over the timing during which Ng had demanded the various sexual favours.
Going through the four charges, DPP Tan said Ng consistently asked for and received the favours either before or after the approval of papers required in awarding the IT contracts.
In the first charge, he said Ng demanded and got oral sex from Ms Sue in July 2011, two months before he approved a paper for the SRMS procurement.
In the second instance, Ng allegedly demanded and received oral sex from Ms Sue in November 2011, around the time he approved another paper for the SRMS project on 15 November 2011.
The prosecution charged that Ng demanded oral sex from Ms Sue after their celebratory dinner as the SRMS contract was awarded to Hitachi Data Systems, Ms Sue’s then—employer.
DPP Tan pointed out that it was at the same dinner that Ng asked Ms Sue to explore options of another deal with the CNB’s IT team.
He also pointed to the 9 December 2011 fellatio incident which made up the fourth charge.
He said it took place "a mere week after the aforesaid dinner at Keppel Marina".
DPP Tan added that from July to November 2011, while Ms Sue went along with casual meet—ups, Ng’s invitations to Kranji chalet and a trip to Macau were rejected by her.
Having left Hitachi for Oracle in November 2011, Ms Sue also discussed her move with Ng and sought his views.
The prosecution also pointed to what it described as "glaring discrepancy" of Ng’s evidence that their relationship didn’t come to an end in September/ October 2010.
Ng had alleged various sexual encounters that allegedly took place after that period and before July 2011.
DPP Tan said Ng "gave remarkably detailed and often lurid accounts of these encounters and even linked them via temporal ’markers’" such as the 2011 General Elections.
"What is telling, however, is that when Cecilia was cross—examined, she was never asked about nor confronted with these alleged encounters," said DPP Tan.
This, he said, meant that Ng’s credibility had been "irreparably impeached".
Another example that Ng lied in court was when he told anti—graft officers he didn’t know about Ms Sue’s work when in fact, she consulted him for each of her career moves.
In rounding up his arguments, DPP Tan said as a civil servant and one who had the authority to make decisions, the burden of proving he had received gratification legitimately, was on Ng.
Addressing the court after lunch, he stressed that the trial is not about policing morality or marital vows.
He said it would be sufficient to prove Ng had been corrupt, as long as Ng had reason to suspect that one reason Ms Sue performed sexual favours was to induce him to show her company favour.
DPP Tan told the court that under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the law allows the presumption of corrupt intent and these factors triggered the presumption of corrupt intent.
The defence, which made its closing arguments in the morning, asked the court not to convict an innocent man just to bring home the message that corruption is wrong.
Ng’s lawyer Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng, in turn, asked — where is the evidence?
Mr Tan said a criminal trial is not prosecuted based on general principles and arguments but evidence on which the accused can be convicted.
He pointed to the so—called inconsistencies with which the prosecution had sought to impeach Ng.
He argued that the prosecution picked selected parts of Ng’s statements to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and took them out of context.
Mr Tan pointed out that Ng did not influence CNB’s procurement of projects with NCS and Jardine OneSolution.
He said all procurement processes were complied with and that Ms Sue never asked Ng for favours, nor did she expect favours from Ng.
Mr Tan said the defence’s case is that despite an ongoing relationship with Ms Sue, there was no conflict of interest.
He also pointed out that for the rise in a conflict of interest, Ng and Ms Sue had to be in a relationship in relation to the NCS and Jardine projects.
But prosecution’s case is currently based on the fact that the two broke up in September/ October 2010.
"If there was no relationship between Ms Sue and the accused, why would there be a conflict of interest that the accused had to declare?" said Mr Tan.
He further explained that for the NCS project, Ng did not know until after it was awarded that Hitachi was involved.
As for the Jardine project, no conflict of interest arose as it was "simply a continuation of the NCS project".
Mr Tan said the prosecution’s entire case is based on the break—up between Ng and Ms Sue.
But he pointed out that despite Ms Sue’s claims that she was forced to perform sexual favours, she continued to send him suggestive text messages.
On defence not raising the sexual encounters that were mentioned by Ng, supposedly after their break—up, Mr Tan said prosecution’s reference to this only showed "a lack of good evidence" as well as its "keen awareness of the unreliability of their key witness’ evidence".
Mr Tan said the prosecution’s case is "internally inconsistent" and that it is dangerous to convict Ng on Ms Sue’s evidence.
He said the prosecution had acknowledged that its key witness had lied in court but had taken "a blinkered approach with selective references to the evidence" and made submissions "without any evidential basis".
Mr Tan stressed that the prosecution is asking the judge to speculate, in the absence of evidence as to what went on in Ms Sue’s mind and what went through Ng’s mind.
"We do not come before the court to read minds. It would be totally unsafe to base a conviction on this," said Mr Tan.
Now that both sides have presented their closing arguments, Ng is expected back in court on February 14, when District Judge Siva Shanmugam will deliver his judgement.
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