Police witness changes his testimony three times

January 12, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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

PDSP Mohd Hassanrosecution witness Mr Mohd Hassan today contradicted himself on the stand in three separate instances and then said that he could not explain it.

The senior police officer holding the rank of a Deputy Superintendent (DSP) was being cross-examined by Dr Chee Soon Juan in the on-going trial where Dr Chee, Mr Gandhi Ambalam and Ms Chee Siok Chin are charged with assembly without a permit for distributing flyers and demonstrating opposition to Government actions.
The first instance happened when DSP Hassan told the court that he had noticed Dr Chee and Mr Ambalam leave the group of five persons distributing flyers at the City Hall MRT Station outside Raffles City Shooping Centre.

He then went in search of the two SDP leaders and spotted them a short distance away at the bus-stop outside St Andrew’s Cathedral. After making a call to Command Post to report the development, Mr Hassan testified that he lost sight of the two men again.

The officer then said that he went “right back to the Raffles City” from his position at the entrance of the MRT Station near St Andrew’s Cathedral. He also said that he did not stop for anything on his way back.

When he returned to Raffles City, the witness said he saw that Dr Chee and Mr Ambalam had re-joined the group and were distributing flyers.

Dr Chee asked Mr Hassan if he wanted more time to check his memory or pocketbook to ensure that he had gotten his facts right. The officer confidently declined the offer and said he stood by his account of events.

At this point, Dr Chee pointed out that it was impossible for him and Mr Ambalam to be back at Raffles City before Mr Hassan because the two had proceeded to Funan Centre from the bus-stop at the St Andrew’s Cathedral, spent some time there before walking back to the Cathedral and Raffles City.

“Given that we left St Andrew’s Cathedral at the same time that you did, how could Gandhi and I have gone to Funan Centre and then backtracked and arrived at Raffles City before you did when you had walked straight back to Raffles City from your position outside the Cathedral?” Dr Chee asked. “According to the laws of physics, how on earth is this possible?”

Realising then he was caught out, DSP Hassan then quickly changed his story and said that he might have gone down and up the escalator and to other places in search of Dr Chee: “I cannot recall the specific details.”

Dr Chee reminded: “You had earlier said that you had gone straight back to Raffles City from outside St Andrew’s Cathedral without stopping for anything, and now you say that you cannot recall if you had gone straight back?”

“I don’t claim to have a perfect memory,” Mr Hassan finally admitted.

“Witness, I put it to you that you were lying when you first said that you had gone straight back to Raffles City when in fact you may not have done that,” Dr Chee charged.

“I deny that,” the officer replied.

“Then I put it to you that if you did not lie it must be that your memory failed you.”

“I deny that too,” DSP Hassan said, apparently forgetting his I-don’t-have-a-perfect-memory admission.

The witness repeated his inexplicable dual denial when Dr Chee asked him about another piece of testimony. Led by the prosecutor, Mr Hassan had testified that he did not contact the Command Post when he first saw Dr Chee. But under cross-examination by Ms Chee Siok Chin, the witness admitted that he did.

“I put it to you that you were lying when you first said that you did not call the Command Post when you actually did call,” Dr Chee said.

“I deny that.”

“Then I put it to you that if you did not lie it must be that your memory failed you.”

“I deny that too.”

“Then how do you explain the difference in your accounts of the event?” Dr Chee asked.

“I can’t explain it,” came the shocking answer.

It seems that our police officers will deny anything and everything no matter how absurd they appear.

A short while later, Mr Hassan repeated his act a third time. Asked where he had found out that Dr Chee had made an application for a rally and march for 16 Sep 06, Mr Hassan testified that he could not remember.

Queried further, the witness then changed his story and said that he had obtained the information from his police colleagues.

Dr Chee’s cross-examination of the DSP Hassan continues tomorrow at 9:30 am in Subordinate Court No 19.