SINGAPORE - The Law Society yesterday rejected suggestions of a "nefarious plot" to prevent certain activist lawyers from representing suspects involved in Sunday night's riot in Little India.
The Straits Times had reported yesterday that the insinuation was levelled by social activist Vincent Wijeysingha against lawyer Amarick Gill, who had, on behalf of the Law Society, attended Tuesday's hearing, where 24 Indian nationals were charged.
The Law Society said in a statement that under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (Clas), a list of volunteer lawyers who provide pro bono services has been collated, including Mr M. Ravi.
"There is no basis to insinuate any 'nefarious plot' to exclude any particular lawyer and so, the Clas's representative rejected this unfair and spurious allegation," the Law Society said.
"As always, these accused persons are entitled to engage counsel of their own choice."
Mr Gill had told the court on Tuesday that the scheme was available to the suspects, adding that the Clas office was working with the Indian High Commission "on securing a number of lawyers to provide legal representation to all accused persons".
The scheme will also be extended to the three other suspects who were charged in court yesterday. After the court proceedings on Tuesday, Dr Wijeysingha had asked the Clas lawyer whether there was a "nefarious plot" by the Law Society to prevent activist lawyers like Mr Ravi from representing the alleged rioters.
Brushing him off by saying it was an unfair question, Mr Gill had said: "We don't know... anything is possible."
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