iswaran veiled gratifaction
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Lawyer claims Iswaran was unaware that gifts received were offered as ‘veiled gratification’

Lawyer says Iswaran did not know gifts received were ‘veiled gratification’

S. Iswaran’s lawyer has claimed that the former Transport Minister was unaware that the gifts he received from property tycoon Ong Beng Seng and managing director Lum Kok Seng were considered “veiled gratification”.

Source: 8world News

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), defence lawyer Davinder Singh claimed that Iswaran and the aforementioned individuals are very close friends.

Iswaran was present at the High Court on Wednesday (8 May).

Lawyer argued that Iswaran should face joint trial for both sets of charges

During the hearing, Mr Singh argued for a joint trial of the two sets of charges faced by Iswaran.

Iswaran faced his first set of 27 charges on 18 Jan.

Transport Minister S Iswaran Charged For Multiple Offences Including Corruption, Pleads Not Guilty

These include 24 charges of obtaining gratification as a public servant, two charges of corruption, and one charge of obstructing the course of justice.

Under the corruption charges, Iswaran allegedly obtained gratification valued at more than S$166,280 from Mr Ong to advance the latter’s business interests.

He subsequently returned to court to receive eight more charges on 25 March.

This time, they were related to him obtaining more than S$18,000 worth of valuables from Mr Lum.

iswaran veiled gratifaction

The new charges fall under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which does not allow public servants to receive valuables from anyone they are related to in an official capacity.

Particularly, Mr Singh contended that his client’s charges should be heard in a joint trial as they were similar in nature.

The Straits Times (ST) quoted Mr Singh as saying:

My client is saying, come at me with both sets please, I am ready to take you on.

The lawyer also highlighted that to his knowledge, Singapore courts had never invoked Section 165.

Iswaran, Lum & Ong are reportedly ‘very dear & close friends’

Additionally, Mr Singh highlighted that Iswaran maintained the same state of mind regarding both sets of charges.

“He was dealing with very, very dear and close friends,” the lawyer stressed.

In response, the prosecution rejected the request for a joint trial.

Deputy Attorney-General Tai Wei Shyong asserted that the legal criteria for a joint trial had not been met, emphasising that the trials must proceed separately.

He also noted that consecutive trials are common in court proceedings.

Furthermore, he pointed out that there was no factual link between the two sets of charges, as the gifts Iswaran received from both parties were entirely different.

However, ST later reported that Iswaran ultimately succeeded in his request for a joint trial.

The trial dates are scheduled for August and September of this year.

Also read: Iswaran returns to court to face 8 more charges of corruption, pleads not guilty

Iswaran returns to court to face 8 more charges of corruption, pleads not guilty

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Featured image adapted from 8world News.

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