Murder charges withdrawn for three men allegedly linked to Orchard Towers death
SINGAPORE - Three men allegedly linked to the Orchard Towers killing were given a discharge amounting to an acquittal of their murder charges on Thursday (July 11).
Tan Hong Sheng, 22, Loo Boon Chong, 25, and Chan Jia Xing, 26, had their charges reclassified to that of consorting with a person carrying an offensive weapon in a public place.
Accused parties given a discharge amounting to an acquittal cannot be charged again with the same offence.
Tan and Chan were each offered bail of $25,000 while Loo’s bail was set at $15,000. The trio will be back in court on Aug 1.
According to court documents, they were allegedly found in the company of Tan Sen Yang, 27, who is said to have had a foldable “kerambit” knife in his possession at the Naughty Girl Club on the second storey of Orchard Towers at 5.46am on July 2. The weapon is a curved knife resembling a claw.
Four others, including Tan Sen Yang are still facing a murder charge each and no bail was offered to them.
The other three are : Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, 22 as well as Joel Tan Yun Sheng, and Ang Da Yuan, both 26.
All seven were originally charged last week with the murder of Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, 31, who died following a brawl at Orchard Towers on July 2.
Chan, Joel Tan and Tan Hong Sheng are represented by a team of lawyers from Invictus Law Corporation, Mr Josephus Tan, Mr Cory Wong and Mr Shane Yeo.
Siow is represented by lawyers Amarick Gill and Cheryl Ng while Loo is represented by Ms Diana Ngiam.
On Thursday, the court heard that Tan Sen Yang is believed to be involved in more offences. Details about them were not revealed in court.
He will be remanded at the Central Police Division and will be back in court on July 18.
Siow, Joel Tan and Ang will undergo psychiatric observations.
The two men will be remanded at the Changi Prison Complex Medical Centre while Siow will be detained at the Changi Women's Prison. The trio will also be back in court on Aug 1.
The Straits Times reported earlier that closed-circuit television footage from a shop on the first floor of Orchard Towers showed Mr Satheesh exchanging blows with some individuals on July 2.
After the group of individuals left, he stumbled in front of the building's glass doors. He appeared to be bleeding from his neck and bystanders tried to staunch the flow of blood.
He was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital but was pronounced dead at 7.25am.
Offenders convicted of murder will face the death penalty.
Those convicted of consorting with a person carrying an offensive weapon in a public place can be jailed for up to three years and receive at least six strokes of the cane.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.