Remand for ex-tour guide as court mulls over challenge to bail

Remand for ex-tour guide as court mulls over challenge to bail

Former China tour guide Yang Yin has been remanded while the High Court deliberates over a challenge filed by the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) to reverse his bail order.

The AGC reiterated in court yesterday that Yang should not be granted bail, arguing that the earlier decision by District Judge Eddy Tham had disregarded the 40-year-old as a high flight risk, among other things.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon will decide whether to overturn the bail order today.

Last Friday, the prosecution had applied to the High Court to challenge Judge Tham's decision a day earlier to grant the Chinese national bail of $150,000.

Yang, who has been detained since Oct 31, has yet to post bail, even though arrangements have been made to remit the money over to a Singaporean bailor.

During the hearing yesterday, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee said the bail order granted was "palpably wrong", and asked that the accused be remanded pending trial.

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Presenting his arguments to Chief Justice Menon, Mr Tan pointed out that Judge Tham failed to recognise there would be no "pull" of bail in this case as the bail money would be coming from Yang's family in China, and not the surety in Singapore.

He also argued that in Yang's case, the sum of $500,000 that had been transferred from 87- year-old widow Chung Khin Chun's account to Yang's parents showed he had the means to abscond. It is not in every case that the prosecution objects to bail for non- bailable offences allegedly committed by non-Singaporeans, Mr Tan added.

Listening to both sides of the argument, the Chief Justice acknowledged there would be "no water off a surety's back" if the source of bail money did not come from the bailor himself.

Addressing this, Yang's lawyer, Mr Wee Pan Lee, suggested that the order be modified such that the bailor put in an additional sum of money so there would be an incentive for him or her to ensure that Yang would not abscond. He said it would have been "foolhardy" for Yang to cut his losses by absconding.

This is the latest development in the legal tussle between Yang and the niece of wealthy widow Madam Chung over her estimated $40 million assets.

Yang faces 331 charges for falsification of receipts worth about $450,000 made to his company, Young Dance and Music Studio.

The prosecution had earlier urged the court to put the bail at $800,000, with four sureties. Yesterday, Mr Tan said the bail, if granted, should be more than $600,000.

Meanwhile, the widow's sister, Madam Doris Chung, assisted in police investigations at the Police Cantonment Complex yesterday. She was accompanied by her daughter, 60-year-old Madam Hedy Mok.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on November 11, 2014.
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