BUSINESSMAN Eric Ding Si Yang (pic), who was jailed for 36 months for bribing three football match officials, will start his prison sentence after a request for his bail to be extended was denied by the court.
District Judge Toh Yung Cheong ruled yesterday that there was a risk of Ding absconding, which must be balanced against Singapore’s international standing.
A spokesman for the Attorney-General’s Chambers said prosecutors that intended to file a notice of appeal against the 36-month jail sentence.
They had on Tuesday argued for a jail term of four to six years, and a fine of between S$120,000 (RM306,974) and S$300,000 (RM767,434) for Ding.
The defence, which was led by lawyer Hamidul Haq, told the court that Ding would be appealing against both his conviction and sentence.
In sentencing earlier, District Judge Toh said that Ding was part of an “organised group” that carries out match-fixing activities, which had brought sport in Singapore into disrepute.
However, he rejected the prosecution’s view that Ding was part of an international match-fixing syndicate – as masterminded by Dan Tan, who is now under detention – on account of insufficient evidence.
He added that the rise of online betting also meant that the harm caused by match-fixing today was greater than that in earlier offences because anyone could “hide behind the anonymity of the Internet”.
This had also made such crimes difficult to prosecute, the judge said.
But he declined to impose a heavy fine because “no match was actually fixed and there was no evidence that the accused had benefited financially as a result
of the offences committed”. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network