Witness list trimmed to cut repetition of testimony

(Left to Right) Former NTUC President Mr John De Payva, Former Supreme Court Judge Mr G Pannir Selvam and West Coast Citizen's Consultative Committee Chairman Mr Andrew Chua.

The witness list for the public hearing into the Little India riot has been trimmed after the Committee of Inquiry decided not to call 39 of the 117 witnesses scheduled to testify.

This was decided after the Attorney-General's Chambers' team established that the evidence from the 39 witnesses "will be a repeat of what other ground officers have testified", said Senior State Counsel David Khoo on Thursday. Their statements have been submitted to the committee, and chairman G. Pannir Selvam said: "We will take them as read."

The move cuts the total number of scheduled witnesses to 78 - with 24 people having already testified since the inquiry started last week.

This does not include auxiliary police sergeant Mahmood Masdar, a last-minute witness called on Wednesday to clarify evidence given by one of his men, constable Srisivasangkar Subramaniam. Three Singapore Civil Defence Force officers will appear on Friday - the eighth day of the hearing.

Police officers from the Special Operations Command, including its deputy commander, will appear next Monday. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lu Yeow Lim, the commander of Tanglin Police Division and the incident manager of the Dec 8 riot, will give his evidence next Tuesday.

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