Match-fixing trial: Mystery of missing phone apps

Match-fixing trial: Mystery of missing phone apps

SINGAPORE - ONE of the seven mobile phones seized from an alleged match-fixer came under scrutiny on Monday.

An anti-graft computer forensics officer testified that businessman Eric Ding Si Yang, 31, used two mobile apps on his iPhone to access seven e-mail accounts - six Gmail and one Yahoo.

But when the phone was examined in court by the defence, neither app was present. The contents of the e-mail accounts were not revealed in open court.

Defence counsel Thong Chee Kun said: "I am instructed that the user of the phone had no such specific apps at any time."

Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) officer Chng Tze Wei said: "But using forensic software, we can analyse applications that have been deleted."

Other records retrieved from the phone include 69 SMS messages, two phone book records, 54 call logs, 184 chat messages from instant messaging app Line and 388 records in another instant messaging app OneTeam, though a number had also been deleted.

Mr Chng said he was also tasked to examine a Sony Vaio laptop seized from Ding, but it turned out to be encrypted and was handed over to the police.

Ding is accused of bribing three Fifa-accredited Lebanese officials - referee Ali Sabbagh, 34, and linesmen Ali Eid, 33, and Abdallah Taleb, 37 - with prostitutes to induce them into fixing a match.

He faces separate charges, which have been stood down, for theft of a document when asked by CPIB officers to open a safe from his home and for obstructing police investigations for not revealing a laptop password.

The court has heard Ding allegedly e-mailed the referee a list of YouTube videos showing how to award bogus penalties.

Mr Chng said this e-mail exchange may have been "stored on the Web browser cache as 'temporary'" and, as such, was "overwritten by other websites". He also said Ding may have accessed this e-mail account from another computer.

Under cross-examination, Mr Chng conceded there were "other possibilities". Asked Mr Thong: "One of which would have been that the e-mail was never sent to him in the first place?" Mr Chng agreed. The trial continued on Tuesday.

waltsim@sph.com.sg


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