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Lim Tean deems prosecutor’s move ‘absurd’ on dropping 9 charges against Iswaran

Lim Tean, PV Chief, queries the prosecutor’s decision to drop nine charges against S Iswaran. Initially facing 36 charges, only 27 proceeded, with the Chief Prosecutor citing a thorough review of evidence for the dropped charges.

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Lim Tean,  the leader of the alternative party Peoples Voice (PV), criticised prosecutors as ” the height of absurdity”, questioning their decision to drop nine charges against former Singapore Transport Minister S Iswaran.

He questions the rationale behind the prosecutor’s decision and expresses surprise at the swift alteration in the number of charges within two days.

Initially, Iswaran could have faced a total of 36 charges, instead of 27 charges.

As reported by state media CNA, Chief Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng told the court that the other nine charges were not pursued after “considering all the evidence that was in this case”.

Iswaran could have faced 36 charges

On Thursday (18 January), former Transport Minister S Iswaran was charged in the State Courts with  27 offences, including corruption, receiving gratification as a public servant and obstructing justice.

The 61-year-old, who had also tendered his resignation from Parliament and the People’s Action Party (PAP), entered a plea of not guilty to all charges linked to his interactions with property tycoon Ong Beng Seng.

The court heard that the charges included two counts of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 24 counts related to receiving items from individuals with whom he had business dealings in his capacity as a public servant, and one charge for obstructing the course of justice under the Penal Code.

According to charge sheets, between 2015 and 2022, Iswaran received “valuable things” exceeding S$384,000 (US$285,000) from Ong, the man who brought Formula One to Singapore.

These included tickets to shows, football matches, and multiple editions of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix.

During yesterday’s court session, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, the lead lawyer for Iswaran, raised a significant concern regarding the number of charges.

He informed the judge that on Monday, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) had charged his client, S Iswaran, with 36 charges and had taken cautioned statements on all 36 charges.

However, he learned from documents provided by the prosecution that the number of charges had been reduced to 27.

Mr Singh then asked the Chief Prosecutor Tan whether the prosecution intended to proceed with the remaining nine charges.

Chief Prosecutor: nine charges not proceeded after “considering all the evidence that was in this case”

In response, Chief Prosecutor Tan stated that the prosecution had decided not to proceed with the other nine charges after “considering all the evidence that was in this case”.

Mr Singh requested the court to note this decision, expressing his surprise at the swift change in position within two days.

“It would appear that in the matter of two days, a decision has been taken not to proceed with the nine charges,” Mr Singh told the judge.

He questioned the timing of the decision, highlighting the significance of the shift and emphasizing that he assumed a thorough review had taken place before the initial levelling of the nine charges.

“According to my learned friend, that is because they have reviewed all the evidence. But I would have thought, your honour, that the evidence would’ve been reviewed thoroughly before the 36 charges were levelled against my client on Monday. ”

“And so, for now, all I would say is that it is surprising but highly significant that after what I assumed was a thorough review and the levelling of the nine charges, in a matter of two days, there has been a complete change of position. I will say no more about that for now,” said Mr Singh.

Chief Prosecutor Tan responded by explaining that the evidence considered included whatever the accused (Iswaran) had stated in his cautioned statements.

“I think my learned friend will understand that the evidence will include whatever the accused has stated in his cautioned statements. ”

“That’s all I have to say so far. If my learned friend wants to pursue this subsequently we will address it in future.”

Lim Tean: “The height of absurdity”

In his recent Facebook post, Lim Tean said he found the explanation given by Chief Prosecutor Tan, that the decision not to proceed with the nine charges was based on a review of Iswaran’s cautioned statements, to be absurd.

He questioned how the content of Iswaran’s caution statement could lead to such a significant change in the prosecution’s decision.

“They would have decided to charge Iswaran with those 9 charges after reviewing all the statements he gave during investigations. How can those few lines he might have written in his caution statements possibly affect their decision? ”

“What an accused writes in the caution statement is his or her 1st reaction to the charge and may conceivably be relevant at trial.”

He found it laughable that the most senior prosecutor could attribute the decision change to the accused’s caution statements

Lim Tean clarified that he is not wishing for Iswaran to face more charges.

“I understand the ordeal he and his family must be going through and I sincerely wish them well in their fight to clear his name. ”

However, Lim Tean stressed that the Public Prosecutor has a responsibility to explain the withdrawal of the nine charges to the Singapore public.

“The Public Prosecutor has a lot of explaining to do to the Singapore public as to why he withdrew those 9 charges for which they had already charged Iswaran with 2 days before in the CPIB!”

Netizens scrutinizing the swift withdrawal of nine charges within a mere two days

Examining the netizens’ responses to Lim Tean’s Facebook post, several individuals have voiced apprehension regarding the recent turn of events.

The swift withdrawal of nine charges within a mere two days has prompted serious questions, implying a potential lapse in due diligence on the part of the prosecutors.

Furthermore, there is a call for transparency in the legal proceedings surrounding this high-profile case, with some advocating for the disclosure of all charges to the public.

A netizen cautioned that the sudden reversal in withdrawing nine charges within a mere two days not only emphasizes the haphazard nature of the initial charging process but also raises doubts about the thoroughness of the prosecution’s case.

The comment suggests a lack of due diligence on the part of the prosecutor, prompts concerns about whether the charges underwent thorough investigation and substantiation before being presented.

“This hasty retraction not only calls into question the initial basis for the charges but also raises doubts about the competence and judgment of the prosecuting team.”

He also cautioned that the seemingly arbitrary nature of withdrawing charges within such a short timeframe could undermine public confidence and create a perception of capriciousness and inconsistency, potentially diminishing trust in the fairness and impartiality of the judicial process.

The comment added that the Prosecutor’s decision may also have broader implications for the accused, the victims, and the administration of justice. For the accused, the sudden dismissal of charges could lead to confusion and scepticism regarding the legitimacy of the remaining charges.

Similarly, victims and their families may experience disillusionment and frustration, feeling that their pursuit of justice has been callously disregarded.

Netizens emphasised the necessity for leaders and subordinates to exceed expectations and avoid suspicion

Another netizen had urged for transparency in the legal proceeding, with a desire to avoid trumped-up charges or those artificially enhanced for a higher penalty.

“In the real world, corruption has many faces and many forms. Some are very obvious like the giving of bribes of money, but it can also be very seemingly innocuous. Like the gift of a good meal or even subtle abuse of power or the gaining of any benefit for any favours and so on.”

The netizen emphasised the responsibility of leaders and their subordinates to uphold a high standard of conduct, “must ensure that they are beyond complaint and beyond even the spectre of suspicion.”

He further stressed a broader moral and ethical perspective, asserting that there is no such thing as a victimless crime and the result of any corruption at any level is a moral and ethical blackmark on our society, legacy, people and every system.

He argued that benefiting oneself, even without an apparent victim, is still a corrupt practice; and warned against justifying unethical behavior based on the actions of others.

“Nothing in life is for free and even if we as the recipient of any “gifts or sweeteners” already open ourselves to the loss of public trust and make ourselves vulnerable to deeper and worse attacks.”

There are also comments expressing hope that throughout the ongoing CPIB investigation and court trial, additional details can be uncovered.

This includes efforts to determine the individuals who might be allegedly involved alongside the ex-minister implicated in the case.

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He may be charged and tried but do remember, he’s still a part of the crooks in white.

Going through the comments confirmed we got a lot of stupid and idiotic people here. As said if you are dumb don’t tell the whole world. Use your freaking brain to think, does it make sense to tarnish one reputation to claim that no corruption can be tolerated? Oppies are really dumb, very indeed. Vote for me because my LC or CB is whiter than white, go fuck yourself lah. This LT talking cock without considering his pending charges still ongoing on, practice without license, stalking woman, taking clients money…..politically motivated he said 🙄. He is not better than IS.

Will iswaran repeat the stunts of teh cheang wan who was then found guilty of much lesser charges, lesser corruption money amounts? How come million dollar salaries that some people claimed to prevent corruption now proves it a fallacy and a joke to equate exorbitantly high salaries of politicians to zero corruption? Million dollars salaries still make iswaran corrupt, why not pay him 10 millions of dollars more so he will no longer be corrupt? Why don’t they pay criminals in jail the highest amount of money so they will commit zero crimes hereon?

And back with Corporate Takagi Ramen with 6-month free Ramen becos he is an Ex-MP. See if other worst off citizens has such Privilege?!? An exclusive group for their so call 2-state solution ran by the same groups of elites.

Thorough investigation by CPIB swiftly result in 9 charges dropped within 2 days. What more to come after court management…….will all 27 charges be entirely and swiftly dropped? Couldn’t Iswaran be allowed to make a ministerial statement, like what Ms Vivian, Shame, old cock n son did as these are prior examples? After all, it is the same ong beng seng who gives away discounts to old cock n son n family members for the Nassim Jade flats? Why this EXCEPTION? If this cannot be done, then shouldn’t the son n father be charged as well? After all, if Malaysia… Read more »

as usual cotton and pineapple lovers will say “bo bian”. tsk tsk tsk

they are immune to being fooled over and over again. looks like its an honest mistakes to these lovers, what do you think?. LOL

Did the AG himself SMEARED his own reputation and that of the entire SG judiciary when there was no prosecurorial action against PAP GE candidates?

Did the judge WHO CLAIMED INSIDE is not within ABETTED a Criminal offence, and NOT DOING JUSTICE for the sake of justice application on SG?

How do Politically affiliated, Politically Motivated, Politically subservient judges, prosecutors do their work in Sheegapore is woefully amazing to the senses of ordinary Sheeps, short of labelling it as corrupted.

This act is indeed the first step of the “Tango” to be taken just to provide ammo for the defence to mitigate some if not all the remaining 27 charges.No wonder IS is so standfast to plea not guilty to all charges.Interesting to see how the wayang would play out in subsequent appearances.Somone may be directing the show in the shadows of darkness.

The withdrawal of charges does not necessarily imply guilt or innocence. It can simply means that the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to proceed with those specific charges at this time.

The expected ethical standards for leaders and public officials are understandably high. Nevertheless, absolute perfection is rather unrealistic regardless of whatever has been said. But at the same time, focusing solely on negative narratives can be detrimental.

It’s crucial to avoid prejudging individuals or jumping to conclusions without due process. Investigations and trials require time and proper procedures to ensure justice is served.

Going to be another KL? Prosecutors going to act in the interest of the defendent? DS can shake his legs and collect top fees? Only in Singapore. The word pliant comes to mind by courtesy of LSW.

George Orwell had always been right all along!

86% voted Against Opposition PE candidate.

I am not saying who, but many do not believe in Karma

I cannot square why these small amounts for show tickets when he is a rich man able to easily afford even 10 such tickets at a time. Something is missing???

I have a feeling that this prosecutor was a gardener who loves to do watering.

This is not the first time charges were watered-down to minimum, remember Lewl?

This case may just ended up with “found having tea with the CEO of F1”. Only a stern warning to be given.

Don’t forget clearing Iswaran is also clearing the PAP. PAP will be sparking white!

Gang leeder will still protect his gang minister to some extent lah.
Maybe one resignation letter to exchange for the 9 undisclosed charges.

Of all the charges, there is no one linked to women. Very strange indeed for a court case on a man with status and money.

Their behaviours have been suspicious for a Loong time … Every year, it adds to the suspicion … That some are there not to serve But to take …

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