Match-fixer's second bid for bail denied

Match-fixer's second bid for bail denied
Ding was sentenced to three years' jail on July 24 for providing three Lebanese football officials with prostitutes as bribes for fixing future matches. He applied for bail until his appeal is heard but was refused by the district court.

SINGAPORE - Convicted match-fixer Eric Ding Si Yang will continue to serve his prison sentence for corruption until his appeal is heard, after the courts denied him bail a second time yesterday.

Rejecting Ding's bid to stay his three-year jail term, Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin said that once a person is convicted, bail is permitted only where there are special reasons.

However, to ensure that "unnecessary prejudice" is not caused to the 32-year-old businessman, he ordered that the hearing of Ding's appeal be scheduled as soon as possible.

Justice Chao said he was confident that the appeal hearing could take place in the next two months.

Ding was sentenced to three years' jail on July 24 for providing three Lebanese football officials with prostitutes as bribes for fixing future matches.

He applied for bail until his appeal is heard but was refused by the district court and began serving his prison term immediately.

District Judge Toh Yung Cheong had considered Ding a flight risk and concluded that he would tarnish Singapore's reputation if he ran off.

Ding then filed a motion in the High Court, which was heard on Tuesday, making a second attempt to stay his sentence and be released on bail, pending appeal.

His lawyer Hamidul Haq argued that Ding has no intention of fleeing, noting that he has complied with bail conditions and had shown up for all court hearings since he was charged last year.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee cited precedent cases to argue that bail pending appeal cannot be granted "by default" unless there are special reasons.

Yesterday, Justice Chao agreed and upheld the district court's decision to deny bail.

Even though Ding had scheduled a knee operation on Wednesday, Justice Chao said there were no new circumstances that warranted a review of the district court's decision.

"I do not wish to imply any improper motive on the applicant's part in scheduling the operation at this time. But I must observe that this medical condition was diagnosed some 23 months ago," he said.

Justice Chao added that he has been assured by the DPP that the prison will be able to attend to Ding's condition.

selinal@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Aug 9, 2014.
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