CPIB didn't do enough to get witnesses

CPIB didn't do enough to get witnesses
IN COURT: Mr Hamidul Haq (left), a lawyer for Eric Ding Si Yang (right), grilled a CPIB officer on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE - A defence lawyer has accused a Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) officer of not putting enough effort to trace two Lebanese witnesses.

Defence counsel Hamidul Haq also alleged that the CPIB officer, Mr Jeffrey Tan, called them at a time when it was unlikely they would pick up the calls.

Mr Haq said that this lack of real effort is why the Lebanese football officials were not able to testify in the match-fixing trial of businessman Eric Ding Si Yang on Tuesday.

Ding, 31, is on trial for allegedly bribing three Lebanese football officials.

Wednesday was the second day of an ancillary hearing, held to determine if the four written statements of the two absent officials Abdallah Taleb, 37, and Ali Eid, 33, could be admitted as court evidence. Mr Haq had earlier cross-examined Mr Tan, who revealed that he tried to call Mr Eid thrice, and Mr Taleb four times, over the first two days of July.

Invalid e-mail address

Mr Tan said he also tried to e-mail Mr Taleb on Tuesday, but the e-mail address was invalid.

These efforts were recorded in his diary.

Mr Haq called the recording in the diary a "special request" that came from Deputy Public Prosecutor Asoka Markandu.

This was so the diary could be used to "support the reliance for an application to introduce (the) statements, knowing that these witnesses are not likely to come back", the defence counsel said.

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