Little India Riot: Law Society refutes "nefarious plot" suggestion

Little India Riot: Law Society refutes "nefarious plot" suggestion
File photo of Vincent Wijeysingha. Following yesterday’s court proceedings, the CLAS lawyer, Mr Amarick Gill, had a brief stand-off with social activist Vincent Wijeysingha. Outside the courthouse, Mr Wijeysingha asked him whether there was a “nefarious plot” by the Law Society to prevent activist lawyers like Mr M. Ravi from representing the alleged rioters.

SINGAPORE - The Law Society has refuted suggestions of a "nefarious plot" to prevent certain activist lawyers from representing suspects involved in Sunday night's riot in Little India.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Statement from the Law Society in relation to allegation of "nefarious plot"

The Law Society refers to the news reports published on 11 December 2013 regarding pro bono legal assistance to the accused persons in the Little India riot.

A representative from the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) was in Court yesterday and informed the Court that pro bono legal assistance may be provided to successful applicants under CLAS, and this was then explained to the accused persons.

CLAS considers applications only after an accused person is charged with a non-capital offence.

Upon receiving any such application, CLAS will determine if the offence is contained in the prescribed list of statutes then assess the application based on established criteria to determine if legal aid should be granted.

This assessment includes the means of the applicant and the merits of the application. These criteria are applied consistently across all applications received.

CLAS has collated a list of volunteer lawyers in anticipation of these applications, including Mr M. Ravi, so 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.

As always, these accused persons are entitled to engage counsel of their own choice.

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