Sex-for-match-fixing trial: I didn't tell Ding to investigate, says editor

Sex-for-match-fixing trial: I didn't tell Ding to investigate, says editor
Eric Ding Si Yang is a former TNP tipster who is in the midst of a match-fixing trial.

He had asked the accused about leads on the match-fixing situation in Europe.

But during Eric Ding's sex-for-match-fixing trial yesterday, the former sports editor of The New Paper, Mr Jegathesan Rajagopal, denied instructing Ding to investigate match-fixing for a story.

Ding, 32, is on trial for allegedly bribing three Lebanese match officials - a referee and two linesmen - by offering them sex with prostitutes in return for fixing a future football match.

The accused is a former freelance tipster with TNP. He was recommended to the paper by a colleague, Mr Jegathesan said.

In court, defence counsel Thong Chee Kun referred to a series of e-mails between Ding and Mr Jegathesan, alluding to his client's interest in match fixing and his intention to write a book about the subject.

In an e-mail dated Nov 22, 2009, the former sports editor had asked Ding: "Hi Eric, any leads on this 'kelong' in Europe news that's breaking out?"

This was in light of the news of hundreds of rigged matches in Europe back then.

Ding replied that he had some information about match fixing, but "not enough to put a story together yet".

Ding wrote in an e-mail: "Once I get more details, I'll do the story, alright?"

Mr Jegathesan's intentions behind asking Ding about the Europe match-fixing scandal were revealed during cross-examination by Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Grace Lim.

When she asked Mr Jegathesan if he had told Ding to "go out to perhaps talk to referees and offer them bribes", he said he did not.

In court yesterday, Ding's lawyers also sought to admit his statements to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) but District Judge Toh Yung Cheong disallowed it.

This follows Ding's decision on Monday not to testify in court in his own defence.


The prosecution also applied to call two more witnesses.

One of them is the chairman of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) disciplinary board.

DPP Alan Loh said the linesmen had recorded statements with the AFC, and these statements would help to "facilitate the justice of this case".

The other is CPIB officer Jeffrey Tan, who would be able to explain how the statements made by the linesmen to a Lebanese lawyer claiming their innocence came to the court's notice, DPP Loh said.

The trial will resume on a later date, with the verdict expected to be delivered on July 1.

This article was published on April 11 in The New Paper.

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