Straits Times lies yet again

Certainly for not the first time, the Straits Times has lied to its readers again.

In its report today (see below), the newspaper completely blacked out the news about the Defendants’ boycott of the trial and, more significantly, the reasons behind it.

It cannot claim that it did not know of the boycott because the SDP had even faxed a copy of the Media Release to it.

And while it chose not to tell the people the boycott, it reported out of context that the Defendants had “repeatedly ignored the judge” and “did not even look at the judge.”

The reporter, Mr Chong Chee Kin, had chosen to hide the news that the Defendants had repeatedly appealed to the Judge to allow them to adduce crucial evidence from police witnesses without which they could not make their case.

Dr Chee Soon Juan made one more attempt yesterday to ask the Judge to reconsider his position. It was only when Judge Eddy Tham remained adamant that the boycott was announced.

The statement, which was read out in court by Mr Gandhi Ambalam, clearly said that the Defendants would not participate in the trial proceedings, and would remain silent. This would mean that they would not engage the judge in matters related to the case.

It is important for a newspaper not to mislead its readers by omitting facts and developments which tell the whole story. This is the cunning of the local media.

But does anyone expect anything different?

SDP Trio on Trial: Video to be examined by expert
Chong Chee Kin
The Straits Times
9 Nov 06

A Police video recording again became a key issue in the trial of Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan and two others yesterday.

It shows Chee, SDP member Gandhi Ambalam and supporter Yap Keng Ho allegedly speaking in public without a permit.

Last week, Ambalan insisted that the video should be “expunged” as evidence, citing discrepancies between the footage found in the video submitted to the court and the copies of the video given to him and Yap by the prosecution.

He told the court then that the recording did not reflect what had actually happened. He also argued that the copy given to him had been “tempered with” and wanted the original recording “expunged”.

Yesterday, the prosecution asked for an adjournment to allow an expert to ascertain whether the original video had been “doctored”. Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Lit Cheng said the move arose from the dispute over the authenticity of the recording and “the problems we have with the copies”.

The video shown in court opened with a close-up shot of Chee speaking in a public space in Yishun. But the original police recording began with a wider shot of the space in which the trio were allegedly speaking on April 22.

DPP Lee’s request, which District Judge Eddy Tham granted, came after Chee and Ambalam had repeatedly ignored the judge.

Judge Tham asked the trio four times each if they wanted to cross-examine four police officers. Chee and Ambalam remained silent and did not even look at the judge. Yap, who kept his head bowed, only said: “No response.”

The hearing continues today.

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