Judge: Ex-law lecturer exploitative or corrupt?

Judge: Ex-law lecturer exploitative or corrupt?
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang at the Subordinate Courts in June. He is appealing against his conviction and sentence for corruptly obtaining gifts and sex from a former student.

SINGAPORE - The question of whether former law professor Tey Tsun Hang's actions amounted to corruption or simply exploitation of his former student Darinne Ko was raised by High Court Justice Woo Bih Li on the second day of Mr Tey's appeal.

Mr Tey, 42, got out of jail on Oct 5, after serving a five-month sentence for corruptly obtaining gifts and sex from Ms Ko. But he is appealing against his conviction and sentence. He has been absent from the hearing.

Justice Woo questioned if Mr Tey was corrupt, if all he did was give Ms Ko the false impression that he loved her.

He asked: "Even if (Mr Tey) was exploiting (Ms Ko) out of greed and lust, does that make it corruption?"

In response, Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Jumabhoy said the terms exploitation and corruption overlapped. He noted the corrupt intent was demonstrated by Mr Tey's conduct and state of mind.

Mr Tey had hinted to Ms Ko that he wanted a Mont Blanc pen and an iPod, and she bought both items for him.

He also did not declare the gifts to his employer, the National University of Singapore, breaching its code of conduct.

DPP Jumabhoy noted that his statements to anti-graft officers also said he was corrupt.

Earlier in the day, Mr Tey's lawyer, Mr Peter Low, had pressed on in his attempt to challenge the admissibility of six statements given by his client to officers of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau. Mr Low argued his client had been in "a fragile state of mind" during this period.

He referred to evidence given by psychiatrist Tommy Tan that Mr Tey exhibited symptoms of "acute stress reaction" when he saw him last year.

But DPP Jumabhoy argued that another psychiatrist, Dr Michael Yong, had testified Mr Tey was able to respond appropriately and could understand what was said to him.

He also rebutted Mr Low's argument, raised on Wednesday, that Mr Tey had allegedly been subject to threats and badgering by anti-graft officers. He said the badgering was simply "repeated questioning", and the threats were "hollow" and in some cases, may not have actually been made.

brynasim@sph.com.sg


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