SINGAPORE - They were expected in court on Tuesday to testify in the match-fixing trial of businessman Eric Ding Si Yang.
But the two Lebanese football officials, who were deported in June after serving jail terms of three months each for corruption, decided not to return to testify.
Instead, in a surprising turn of events for the defence, their statements were prepared by the prosecution to be admitted as evidence in court.
Ding, 31, is on trial for allegedly bribing three Lebanese football officials with free sexual services from prostitutes to induce them to fix future matches.
It was revealed in an ancillary hearing as part of Ding's trial on Tuesday that Mr Abdallah Taleb, 37, and Mr Ali Eid, 33, had, through the Lebanese Football Association and a Lebanese diplomat in Singapore, informed the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) that they had no plans to return to testify.
Recorded statements are usually not allowed to be admitted as evidence without the witness testifying in court unless there are exceptional circumstances.
An ancillary hearing would help to determine if these statements could be tendered as court evidence.