'No proof' that Ng Boon Gay saw trysts as bribes

There was no evidence to show that former anti-narcotics chief Ng Boon Gay thought his trysts with Ms Cecilia Sue were bribes.

The judge who acquitted Mr Ng after the high-profile corruption trial also noted in the grounds of his decision that the prosecution’s key witness, Ms Sue, had been impeached over the the numerous discrepancies in her testimony. “The discrepancies went towards the crux of the charges,” he wrote.

The four instances of oral sex at public carparks were part of an intimate relationship, and Mr Ng had “no ulterior motive in obtaining them”, District Judge Siva Shanmugam wrote in the 133-paragraph judgment.

The couple’s intentions were “innocuous in giving and receiving” oral sex, he added.

The prosecution said yesterday that it now has until June 11 to appeal against the decision.

Last night, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that Mr Ng will remain suspended without pay until the case is over.

Former Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) chief Ng, 46, was acquitted on Feb 14 of corruptly obtaining sexual favours from Ms Sue four times in 2011, in exchange for furthering business interests of her then employers Hitachi Data Systems and Oracle Corporation Singapore.

The Prevention of Corruption Act states that a civil servant who obtains gratification from someone who has or is seeking business dealings with the Government is presumed to have done so corruptly, the judge said.

The onus was then on the civil servant to prove otherwise, which Mr Ng did, ruled the judge.

Mr Ng had said in his defence that he was having an extra-marital affair with Ms Sue which began around 2009. The judge also pointed to a series of intimate text messages as proof of their affair.

Whether there were conflicts of interest regarding Mr Ng’s dealings with Ms Sue, 36, was also discussed at the trial.

But the judge noted that Mr Ng was not involved in the analysis leading to recommendations by his CNB evaluation committee when it came to IT bids that Ms Sue dealt with. He also did not influence the work of the independent evaluation committee.

The judge also noted that the prosecution’s key witness had been successfully impeached. “I found Ms Sue’s explanations for the numerous material discrepancies to be unconvincing.”

Her statements to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and her evidence had given rise to three “starkly contrasting” versions of the affair.

First, there was never an intimate relationship. Second, there was an intimate relationship that lasted from 2009 to 2011. Finally, there was an intimate relationship that started in 2009, but ended in September or October 2010.

In comparison, Mr Ng’s testimony in court and his statements to the CPIB had been largely consistent, the judge wrote. Not only had Mr Ng given evidence in a “forthright manner”, wrote the judge, but he had also “candidly admitted” to being aware of Ms Sue’s involvement with the CNB.

joycel@sph.com.sg


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