Grounds to be 'set out in full' if Dan Tan is detained again

IF A decision is made to detain alleged match-fixing kingpin Dan Tan Seet Eng without trial once again, the grounds for his detention will be set out in full to comply with the Court of Appeal's ruling.

Minister of Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said this yesterday at a press conference to reiterate that he accepts and respects the judgment of the court, which last week ordered the release of Tan, who had been detained without trial for two years.

Calling the judiciary a key institution, he said: "The reason why we are successful in Singapore is because we have built up institutions and given them status under the Constitution and accorded them due respect. Singapore's fundamentals depend on strong institutions and upholding the status."

The court had ruled last week that Tan's detention under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, commonly known as the CLTPA, could not be justified as the grounds for holding him - leading and funding a global match-fixing syndicate - did not comply with the requirements of the Act.

The court ruled that a person can be detained under the Act only if he posed a threat to public safety, peace and good order within Singapore.

Tan was re-arrested on Tuesday night, six days after he was released.

Mr Shanmugam pointed out that the court had accepted in principle that match-fixing can come within the CLTPA. In Tan's case, the court ruled that the order to detain Tan had not set out the grounds which justified it.

"Dan Tan has now been re-arrested and investigations are ongoing. A decision will be made, one way or another, on what is to be done with him. If a detention order is issued again, it will set out the grounds in full."

He added that there is a process after the arrest that must be complied with.

"The Attorney-General's Chambers will advise us, we will look through and make a decision as to whether to issue a detention order or take another step. And then we will issue the appropriate public statement."

In response to a question on whether Tan's re-arrest was due to international pressure, he said: "We do what is right. We don't arrest or release people based on international pressure. We do what is right for Singapore."

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