Women in rooms to give 'physio'

Women in rooms to give 'physio'
SUSPECT: Businessman Eric Ding is on trial for allegedlybribing officials to fix football matches.

They did not commit any crime of accepting bribes in the form of sexual gratification in return to fix matches.

The women had gone to their hotel rooms to provide "physiotherapy", claimed the two Lebanese assistant referees, Mr Abdallah Taleb and Mr Ali Eid, defence lawyer Yusfiyanto Yatiman said on Monday.

Businessman Eric Ding Si Yang, 31, is on trial for allegedly bribing three Lebanese match officials with prostitutes to fix matches.

Mr Taleb and Mr Eid had earlier pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in the form of sexual gratification to fix matches.

While cross-examining Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) officer Chan Jian Yun on Monday, Mr Yusfiyanto alluded that the discrepancy between Mr Taleb's CPIB statement and his new claim was due to his "state of mind" at the time.

Earlier in the trial, Mr Yusfiyanto had said that Mr Taleb was yelling for close to an hour while recording his statement. Mr Taleb also did not take his dosage of Atarax - a "sedative" and a medicine to treat itchiness - which was seized from him upon arrest.

While cross-examining another CPIB officer, Ms Png Chen Chen, the lawyer said that Mr Eid was not "in the best condition or state of mind to give his answers when he recorded his statement".

Ms Png said Mr Eid had asked for painkillers - one out of the six types of medicine seized from him - for his old injuries after breakfast.

Before dinner, Mr Eid complained of numbness in his arms. He later asked Ms Png for "sugar water" - something his wife, a nurse, made for him when he "faced similar problems" back home.

Mr Yusfiyanto said these two instances should have alerted Ms Png to seek professional medical help for Mr Eid, who was "rushed" to the hospital a day after he finished recording his statement.

While Ms Png agreed that she did not have the necessary qualifications to assess Mr Eid's medical condition, she maintained that he was "stable" and "coherent" during the two hours of recording his statement. The trial continues today, with one more CPIB officer expected to take the stand.

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