Lighter moments in court

October 12, 2008
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

During his trial where he was charged with insulting High Court Judge Belinda Ang, Mr Gopalan Nair was cross-examining a police witness when the following exchange took place:

Nair: Witness, you must have gone through the evidence with a fine tooth comb.
Witness: Your honour, what has a comb got to do with all this?

* * *

At the pre-trial conference last week, the defendants were arguing with the Deputy Public Prosecutor over the selection of dates for one of the trials.

The defendants said that the trials were too close and did not give them time to prepare for the next case. What if they had to go to jail?

The DPP interjected to which the defendants responded by chuckling to themselves, one of whom was Mr John Tan, SDP’s assistant secretary-general.

Mr Tan then remarked: That’s really funny.
PTC Judge Liew Thiam Leng intoned: No, it’s serious.
Tan: It’s funny.
Judge: It’s serious.
Tan: No, it’s funny.
Judge: It’s serious
Tan: It’s funny.

Judge Liew then stared at Mr Tan for a few moments and moved on to another matter.

* * *

At the same PTC, Dr Chee Soon Juan protested that the trial dates were fixed without all parties being present in the courtroom.

“Didn’t the DPP, Mr Han Meng Kwang, say that PTCs were for parties to come together to pick the dates?” Dr Chee asked. “Perhaps, Mr Han may want to repeat what he said earlier.”

“There’s no necessity for me do that,” Mr Han shot back.

“I think it’s important to hear it from the horse’s mouth,” Dr Chee said.

“I will not repeat it,” the DPP insisted. A moment later, he added somberly in Queen’s English, or at least as best as he could muster: “And I am not a horse.”

* * *

During the hearing one of the counsels told the court that the case would go down into the “annals of legal history”. When it was first said, it sounded like he was referring to the anatomical orifice found at the end of the digestive tract.

“What?” presiding judge Ms Thian Yee Sze looked up, incredulous.

“I mean the annals of legal history,” correcting the pronunciation of “annals”.

A few relieved giggles were heard, including from the Prosecution’s bench.