ALLEGED match-fixer Eric Ding Si Yang chose not to give evidence in his own defence, as his long-running corruption trial resumed.
He did so even though District Judge Toh Yung Cheong had ruled in March that the prosecution had established a prima facie case, which meant there was enough evidence to proceed with the trial. Without his testimony, the court may draw an adverse inference against Ding.
The 32-year-old former freelance football tipster with The New Paper (TNP), published by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), is accused of bribing three Lebanese match officials with sex with prostitutes while the men were in Singapore last April to officiate an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) match.
The three men – referee Ali Sabbagh, 35, and linesmen Abdallah Taleb, 38, and Ali Eid, 34 – have been deported after serving jail time here for accepting bribes.
Ding’s lawyers, Hamidul Haq and Thong Chee Kun, intended to call two defence witnesses, namely Lebanese lawyer Ayman Malek Fakih, who presided over statements made by the officials to the AFC, and TNP special projects editor Jegathesan Rajagopal.
On the 23rd day of the trial yesterday, parties squabbled over the defence witness list.
This after the court heard that Ayman’s attendance in court to verify the authenticity of the statements could not be secured as his visa application had been rejected, and that a court subpoena had not been issued to Jegathesan. — The Straits Times/ Asia News Network