Ex-law prof's home detention ends

Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang was granted early release from his five-month jail term on Sunday for good behaviour.

Many, however, will remember that it was his inappropriate behaviour with a student while he was lecturing at the National University of Singapore (NUS) that got him in trouble with the law in the first place.

he 42-year-old was sentenced to jail in June after he was convicted a month earlier of six counts of corruptly obtaining sex and gifts from former NUS law student Darinne Ko.

He started his sentence on June 26 but did not stay in prison for the entire term.

The Malaysian was let out on Sept 17 after he was given permission to serve out his jail term on home detention.

On Sunday, he reported to the Selarang Park Community Supervision Centre to remove his electronic tag, which he was required to wear as part of the home detention order. Mr Tey told The Sunday Times on Sunday after his release that he intends to renew his passport, so that he can visit his aged and ailing father in Malaysia.

He also said he was anxious to reunite with his Japanese wife and his daughter, whom he says have been "shuttling between Taiwan and Japan".

He said his wife, whom he declined to name, still stands by him. He added that being able to communicate with his wife and daughter daily while on home detention gave him "a lot of comfort". 

Both of them have undergone "immense suffering" because of the case, he added, while he too has been feeling "disappointment and disillusionment". Still, he says the last 19 months have been "enriching" and that he spent a lot of time behind bars thinking and reflecting.

Mr Tey gained notoriety during his lengthy trial, which exposed the risque details of his trysts with Ms Ko while they were at NUS in 2010. He had fought hard, trying to convince the court that he had been in a relationship with Ms Ko and that the sex and gifts were an expression of love between them. But his defence cut no ice with Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye.

The judge, in finding Mr Tey guilty, said he had exploited the vulnerability of his former student and had chosen to be corrupt. But Mr Tey, who was fired by NUS following the court's ruling, is still fighting to prove his innocence.

His lawyer Peter Low had filed appeals against his conviction and jail sentence while Mr Tey was serving time.

The appeal hearing will be heard in about two weeks. Mr Tey is expected to argue that he was not corrupt and did not exploit Ms Ko, because he loved her. He had also said previously that the five-month jail sentence was too harsh and that "a stiff fine" would have sufficed.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.