SINGAPORE: A Swiss national accused of having paid sex with an underage girl will be the first to fight the case this month.
Juerg Buergin, 41, was one of 51 men implicated in the high—profile online vice ring crackdown last year.
The former executive director at UBS Investment Bank faces two charges — he allegedly paid the girl a total of S$1,250 for sex in September 2010 and in January 2011.
Buergin’s lawyer, Selva K Naidu, said trial dates have been fixed for five days this month. The trial begins on March 19.
A large part of the defence’s case would be whether mens rea (a guilty mind) is required to constitute the offence.
In this case, the lawyer said the accused did not have a guilty mind, which meant that he would not have known that the girl was a minor and hence he is not guilty of the offence.
So far, 18 out of 51 men have been dealt with.
They include former executive director of the Singapore Environment Council, Howard Shaw, and former school principal Lee Lip Hong.
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