Office didn’t check to see if there was permit even though he was assigned to do so

November 29, 2007
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats
28 Nov 07

Police witness Charles Soon Fook Kong indicated that even though he had been despatched to Woodlands MRT Station on 8 Apr 07 to check on whether SDP members were giving speeches without a permit, he did not do so.

This, according to Mr Soon, was because when he arrived at the scene he saw a large crowd and was more concerned whether there would be disorderly behaviour.

After about 10 to 15 minutes, however, the officer said that the crowd was well-behaved.

“After you concluded that the crowd was well-behaved, why did you not check to see if the SDP had a permit for the activity?” Dr Chee asked on cross-examination.

“There could be still be potential disorder,” replied the witness.

“Would you have warned us to stop speaking if you had discovered that we did not have a permit?” Dr Chee asked.

“Yes.”

“If that’s the case then wouldn’t it have made more sense to quickly check with the SDP if there was a permit and if there wasn’t, advise the members to stop the activity right away to avoid potential problems?”

“No, the checking could be done later on,” Officer Soon insisted.

Earlier on, Mr Soon had said that he not seen the copy of The New Democrat that was being sold that day.

When presented a copy on the stand, Mr Soon said that this was the first time he had seen the newspaper.

But Mr Yap Keng Ho noticed that Mr Soon was seen in the video-tape carrying a newspaper that looked like The New Democrat.

When asked if the newspaper Mr Soon was carrying was indeed The New Democrat, the police witness replied: “Maybe.”

“How do you conduct your investigations if you don’t even have a copy of the evidence?” Mr Yap wanted to know.

The witness avoided the question.

Mr Yap then asked for more time to review the video-tape because he wanted to see if there were more discrepancies between the officer’s testimony and what was captured in the video-tape.

The hearing continues