IMH to decide if Tey fit to continue proceedings

SINGAPORE - In yet another twist in the sex-for-grades trial, proceedings were on Thursday adjourned for law professor Tey Tsun Hang to consult doctors at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

He will undergo a forensic psychiatric evaluation, which will determine if he is fit to continue to stand trial.

The dramatic turn came after he suffered what National University Hospital (NUH) doctors termed an "acute hyperventilation episode", which had cut short Wednesday's proceedings.

After a battery of tests until the wee hours of the morning, Tey was discharged from NUH only around 8.30am on Thursday.

The doctors then referred the accused to the IMH.

Looking weary, the suspended National University of Singapore don appeared briefly in court on Thursday - arriving minutes after the scheduled 9.30am start.

After submitting his client's medical reports, defence counsel Peter Low requested an adjournment for his client to undergo the IMH evaluation. Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Jumabhoy, in supporting the move, said it was a "sensible course".

Court, however, will convene today to hear an update on Tey's condition from Mr Low. Tey, who turns 42 on Monday, faces six charges of corruptly obtaining gifts and sex in 2010 from former student Darinne Ko in exchange for better grades.

Wednesday was his second day of intense cross-examination by the deputy public prosecutor.

Tey, a former district judge, had claimed earlier in his trial that he had been forced to miss a psychiatric appointment last April 10 because Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) officers wanted to take his statement.

But Mr Jumabhoy produced an appointment card which showed Tey's appointment with the psychiatrist was scheduled for 9.30am - well before the time he showed up at CPIB, at 11.50am.

It was at that point in the proceedings that Tey appeared to go into a daze. He was later seen crying, breathing heavily and retching into a plastic bag. After being assisted out of the Subordinate Courts by two defence lawyers, he was rushed to NUH.

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