Judge dismisses application to exclude Prosecution’s evidence

January 31, 2007
Singapore Democrats

This post is at least a year old. Some of the links in this post may no longer work correctly.

As expected Judge Aedit Abdullah dismissed the application of defence counsel, Mr Alfred Dodwell, to strike out one of the prosecution witness’ testimony and to disqualify the Prosecutor.

Mr Dodwell, counsel for Dr Chee Soon Juan who is charged with attempting to leave Singapore without a permit, pointed out that it was undisputed that the witness, Ms Kala, did speak with the Prosecutor, Ms Kamala, over the introduction of an email as part of the prosecution’s evidence while Ms Kala was still under oath.

Mr Dodwell said that “it was obviously planned between the both of them that they will seek to tender [the evidence] during re-examination.”

This clearly went against the Judge’s order that while Ms Kala is still giving evidence, she was not to discuss the proceedings with anyone.

“The fact that she had been communicating with the Prosecutor is even more damaging,” the lawyer added.

In his submissions, Mr Dodwell also contended:

“This raises the issue of contamination of the evidence of the said witness. It casts a long shadow of doubt and collaboration in the tendering of the evidence. This raises the issue that the evidence could have been subjected to thorough discussion, planning, revision, and it raises the issue that falls foul of the basic principle that ‘justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly seen to be done.'”

The second application that Mr Dodwell made was to remove Ms Kamala as the Prosecutor. The lawyer pointed out that Ms Kamala was a recipient of some of the emails between the officers at the Official Assignee’s office.

She is also the administrative officer in charge of Dr Chee’s case thereby raising the question of conflict of interest.

The above two matters makes the prosecution appear “well crafted, planned and executed” and led one to conclude that the Prosecutor and Ms Kala had discussed the matter at length.

Judge Aedit didn’t take long to dismiss the applications and proceeded to hear the rest of the case.

Earlier on, Ms Kala had testified, as had other witnesses, that at the time when Dr Chee made his way to the airport, his application to travel had not been rejected.

She, however, insisted that Dr Chee needed to make a proposal to pay monthly instalments to Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong before he could be allowed to travel.

But when pressed, she admitted that her office could not determine how much the SDP secretary-general had to pay the two former prime ministers because, from all the documents submitted, he had insufficient income to do so.

Ms Kala also told the court that she was not singling Dr Chee out. When asked, she revealed that she had 25,000 bankrupts under her charge and that she was on call 24 hrs a day, seven days a week to prohibit anyone who did not have permission from leaving Singapore.

Given the large numbers of bankrupts going in and out of the country without permission, some people may find that point a little hard to swallow.

Mr Dodwell commented: “Wow, you’re more important than a gynaecologist!” This drew laughters all around.

Hearing continues tomorrow at 9:30 am in Subordinate Court 15