Saturday, January 12, 2013

Suspect body of work

Here it goes again, another sordid account of sex and lies rolled into a case of corruption in "squeaky clean" Singapore. This time, a law professor stands accused of favouring a student through an illicit sexual relationship. The student reportedly gained from the tryst through better grades in the professor's classes. The Court is now called upon to decide if there is any truth to the allegations.

Once again, the CPIB's "star" witness, the student in question, has given evidence in Court that contradicts the statements she gave to the CPIB during its investigations and upon which the same body has proceeded to charge another with corruption. Why again? Because in another case of corruption with illicit sex, CPIB "star" witness, a Ms Cecilia Sue, also offered contradictory evidence in Court - accounts that did not square with the statements she gave the same CPIB officers.

I am leaving the Courts to decide, as I must, the merits of each of these cases. But my question is, what is wrong with the CPIB? Surely having its star witness perjuring themselves in Courts once is an aberration, but when it happens again, you begin to wonder how CPIB obtains the written evidence upon which a case is made. From what I have learnt so far from the press, it appears that such evidence may not have been given entirely voluntarily, which explains differing accounts proffered in a Court of Law and the CPIB statements. For the second time in as many months, CPIB has had to decide if it is going to impeach the evidence of its main witness. The greater question is if CPIB has not lost its credibility as an investigating body that aims to uncover corrupt practices. Can CPIB bring another case to court without the same thing happening again? The likelihood, going by the two recent cases, suggests that it is not high.

We shall soon know as there are two pending cases that will be brought to Court in the coming weeks, that of the corruption cases of Mr Lim Sin Pang, formerly chief of the SCDF, and Rev Kong Hee of the City Harvest Church. Well, maybe not the latter as it does not involve sex. But one never knows.

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