Judge to consider why Tey suggested abortion

Judge to consider why Tey suggested abortion
Former professor Tey Tsun Hang exits Selarang Park Community Supervision Centre on a hired cab after having his electronic tag removed on Oct 5, 2013. High Court Justice Woo Bih Li also questioned why Mr Tey told Ms Darinne Ko he had no money to pay for the abortion in 2010 when he was working for NUS.

SINGAPORE - The judge closed Mr Tey Tsun Hang's appeal hearing on Friday, vowing to consider why the former law professor told his student to have an abortion when he claimed they were in a "loving relationship".

High Court Justice Woo Bih Li also questioned why he told Ms Darinne Ko he had no money to pay for the abortion in 2010 when he was working for the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Mr Tey, 42, was again absent from court and is believed to be in Malaysia with his parents. He is appealing against his conviction - for corruptly obtaining gifts and sex from Ms Ko - and five-month sentence from which he was released on Oct 5.

Ms Ko's pregnancy came under scrutiny after Mr Tey's lawyer Peter Low listed evidence and circumstances that Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye used to conclude that Mr Tey had corrupt intent and was guilty. Justice Woo interjected and wanted to know what had been said about Ms Ko's abortion during the main trial earlier this year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Jumabhoy said Ms Ko had called to inform Mr Tey about the baby, and she was told by him to abort it. He also claimed to have no money to pay for the abortion. Justice Woo noted Ms Ko, now 23, had been a student with no independent income while Mr Tey was an associate professor at NUS. He had reportedly been "drawing a comfortable salary of $225,000" there.

Justice Woo said it was a point he would consider. "Here is a man who says it was a 'mutually loving relationship' but who also said 'get rid of it' and that he didn't have money to send to her," he said.

In his closing submissions, Mr Low revisited his client's defence that the relationship was "mutually loving". He said Chief District Judge Tan had neglected to refer to both his client and Ms Ko's testimonies on this aspect, as well as the cards of affection that Ms Ko gave to Mr Tey.

Justice Woo asked if Mr Tey had pursued this line of questioning while Ms Ko was on the witness stand. Mr Low conceded: "He did not put to her that there was a mutually loving relationship."

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