News @ AsiaOne

S'porean colleagues help drivers post bail

$50,000 raised; some lawyers in talks to offer 4 men pro bono defence. -ST
Maria Almenoar And Joyce Lim

Sun, Dec 09, 2012
The Straits Times

The drivers Gao Yue Qiang (above), Wang Xianjie, He Jun Ling and Liu Xiangying have all been released. The four Chinese nationals have been charged with instigating a strike by SMRT drivers unhappy about pay and living conditions.

SINGAPORE - The foreign bus drivers accused of being the ringleaders in last week's strike have posted bail - apparently with the help of their Singaporean colleagues.

All four Chinese nationals were released on Thursday, but had their passports impounded.

Sources close to the case said the Singaporeans who helped come up with the total of $50,000 in bail included local SMRT bus drivers.

Two groups of lawyers are also in talks about the possibility of representing the four men, who have been charged with instigating the strike by SMRT drivers unhappy about their pay and living conditions.

Gao Yue Qiang, 32, Liu Xiangying, 33, and Wang Xianjie, 39, were released on bail of $10,000 each.

The fourth driver, 32-year-old He Jun Ling, who faces two charges, was out on $20,000 bail.

Last Friday, a representative from the Chinese Embassy here, asked lawyer Gloria James to help defend the four men on a pro bono basis.

Ms James, who was not in court on Thursday, told The Straits Times: "I have been in touch with the embassy official since last Friday (and) I have given him the names of the lawyers who volunteer their service to help these drivers.

"The drivers would decide who they want to represent them... I will try to represent at least one of the drivers."

Ms James, who is an active volunteer with the Law Society of Singapore's Pro Bono Services Office, added that many people are not aware of such schemes to help foreigners here.

 
 
 
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