SINGAPORE - Allegations of a "nefarious plot" by the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) to prevent access by accused rioters to any particular lawyer are "unfair and spurious", the Law Society said on Wednesday.
In a statement to the media, it said the CLAS had collated a list of volunteer lawyers in anticipation of applications for pro-bono legal help by the accused persons, and that lawyer M. Ravi is on it.
The statement came after social activist Vincent Wijeysingha had asked Mr Amarick Gill, the Law Society's representative in court, if there was a "nefarious plot" by the society to "prevent activist lawyers like Ravi from defending these people".
The exchange happened during a media scrum outside court after the first 24 suspects were charged on Tuesday. Mr Gill called the question unfair, and when Mr Wijeysingha pressed the matter, he said: "We don't know... anything's possible."
On Wednesday evening, Mr Ravi told The Straits Times he had been on CLAS' list hours before the men were charged in court. "I was one of the first to respond and volunteer," he said.
A Law Society spokesman said the CLAS had not received any requests for legal aid yet.
LIM YAN LIANG
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