Match-fixing trial: Linesman 'ill while giving his statement'

Match-fixing trial: Linesman 'ill while giving his statement'
CPIB officer Ms Png testified that Mr Eid said he felt well when he gave his statement, which is being used as evidence against Eric Ding (above).

A Lebanese linesman may have been in ill health when he gave a statement saying he accepted sexual bribes to fix a football match, a court heard on Monday.

Mr Ali Eid, 33, had asked for painkillers and complained of numbness before the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) recorded his statement on April 4, said lawyer Yusfiyanto Yatiman, who is defending alleged match-fixer Eric Ding Si Yang, 31.

Mr Yusfiyanto said this could have contributed to the statement being "inaccurate and unreliable".

Linesmen Eid, 33, and Abdallah Taleb, 37, both pleaded guilty to match-fixing charges and were deported to Lebanon after completing three-month jail terms. Although they said they will return to testify against Ding, neither did. Their statements have been admitted as evidence.

The court heard on Monday that Mr Eid suffered two medical episodes while in the CPIB's custody.

First, he requested painkillers in the morning for an "old injury", testified CPIB officer Png Chen Chen. The next incident occurred before dinner, prompting Ms Png to grab his asthma inhaler.

"He said the room was stuffy, the air-con suddenly switched off by itself and he felt numbness in his body," said Ms Png, adding that the air-conditioner was faulty. She and an Arabic interpreter helped Mr Eid to another interview room as he was not well enough to walk on his own.

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