CSJ: Let’s get on with the trial

November 3, 2006
Singapore Democrats

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Dr Chee Soon Juan told the Court today he was ready to continue with the case. He did not object to the video recording being used in court after copies were given to the Defendants.

DPP Lee Lit Cheng had refused to provide to the Defendants copies of the video recording she wanted to admit as evidence in the trial.

Dr Chee is charged together with Mr Gandhi Ambalam and Mr Yap Keng Ho with speaking in public without a licence while the SDP was out campaigning and selling their flagship publication The New Democrat during the period of the elections in May this year.

Mr Ambalam also agreed to carry on with the trial but reserved his right to question the videographer after he had viewed the copy of the recording.

Mr Yap Keng Ho requested for more time to view the tape and to prepare his case. He was given the rest of today to do that.

The Defendants have repeatedly stated their stand that they were happy to face the charges but insisted that the Prosecution not be given free rein to do as it pleases in court.

They had found out that one of the police witnesses was present in the courtroom while other witnesses were giving evidence.

After they took DPP Lee Lit Cheng to task on the matter, she quickly changed tack and offered to admit the video as evidence. The Prosecution had hitherto refused to use the video evidence.

Even after she changed her mind, she arrogantly refused to give the Defendants copies of the recording, citing that they had “no legal right” to them. The Judge said, however, that the Defendants needed to be given the copies.

After a week of huffing and puffing, the trial is no further along than when it started on the first day.

Dr Chee told the Court that the antics of the Prosecution have led to one whole week of delays. If the video evidence had been used right from the beginning the trial would have concluded by now.

He reiterated that he was prepared to move forward expeditiously and to get to the bottom of the charge at hand.

Hearing continues tomorrow at 9:30 am.