Match-fixing trial: Lawyers try to discredit Arabic interpreter

Match-fixing trial: Lawyers try to discredit Arabic interpreter

Defence lawyers for an accused match-fixer, Eric Ding Si Yang, on Tuesday sought to discredit an Arabic interpreter used by anti-graft officers to gather evidence against him.

Mr Khaled Atwa Nabil was hired by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau to help record statements of Lebanese linesmen Abdallah Taleb, 37, and Ali Eid, 33, on June 11, the day they were deported after serving jail time here for taking bribes.

They have not returned to testify against Ding and their statements have been admitted.

The court heard that Mr Atwa, a graduate of business administration in English from Egypt's Modern Academy in Maadi, had no prior experience helping to record police and CPIB statements. He did interpretation work for the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore and Criminal Investigation Department, among others.

Defence lawyer Yusfiyanto Yatiman argued that his lack of experience contributed to apparent lapses in the process of recording the linesmen's statements.

He pounced on Mr Atwa's testimony on Tuesday that he had not interpreted some of Mr Taleb's answers that he deemed irrelevant to CPIB officer Daryl Ng. He asked: "If your role is simply to interpret, why did you not tell the answers to Mr Daryl Ng and let him decide whether the answer makes sense or not?"

Mr Atwa replied: "My job is to make sure he understands the question, and I asked the officer if I can repeat the question for him again because the answer that was given is not clear."

Ding, 31, is accused of bribing the linesmen and referee Ali Sabbagh with prostitutes in return for fixing a match. If found guilty, he can be fined up to $100,000, and/or jailed up to five years.

waltsim@sph.com.sg


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