Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Flexing Muscles II

It is often said that if you enter a courtroom without an experienced defense attorney by your side and attempt to represent yourself, you are starting with a serious disadvantage. Some of the reasons:
- Not Understanding the Rules of Evidence;
- Not Knowing Effective Defense Strategies;
- Becoming Overwhelmed by Court Rules.

There's even a proverb, probably first expressed by a lawyer, that says self-representation in court is likely to end badly. The early 19th century expression, attributed to a Henry Kett (1814), goes like this: "I hesitate not to pronounce, that every man who is his own lawyer, has a fool for a client".

Professor Tey Tsun Hang presumably knows his stuff, he is after all a teaching academic at the law faculty of the National University of Singapore. He also probably realises that a third party practitioner might not dare go head-to-head against a system that errs on the side of vindictiveness. One local big shot lawyer is known to make it a point to send a thank note to the public prosecutor, whether he wins the case or not.

The revelations Tey brought out in open court makes it abundantly clear why Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah is in no hurry to introduce video recording for the taking of police statements. Even the most thick skinned of members of parliament will blush if following exchange was aired in the house: "You don't f***ing play with me. This is CPIB, you are a subject."

"I stab you once, you die beautifully,
legs straight up. But if you insist,
I can stab you tens of times, and
you die most horrendously."
According to the law professor, the thugs officers threatened to "arrest his wife, tell his bosses to slash his pay and withdraw his permanent resident status". The gist of one virulent tirade, Tey recounted, was: "Hook both my wife and I up and bleed us dry financially." That has certainly upped the ante from dragging victims through the mud and slime of the mainstream media. Seriously, did these guys have training at Gitmo?

And when CPIB Deputy Director Teng Khee Fatt was caught with records of wrong timings in his interrogation diary, he cavalierly dismissed the discrepancy with, "But this was the timing that was taken down by me during the time." Forget the niceties of court evidence (taxi receipts establishing timing gaps), what the man writes down is the law. Saddam Hussein had his Jihaz al-Mukhabarat al-Amma, Muammar Gaddafi had his Mukhabarat el-Jamahiriya, Bashar Al-Assad had his Shu'bat al-Mukhabarat al-'Askariyya, maybe we might as well have our own Mukhābarāt (Arabic: مخابرات‎). That cuts out the good cop bad cop charade of a justice system.


  1. I was so surprised that the name Teng Khee Fatt did not get mentioned at all during the Peter Lim trial. In fact I noticed that no CPIB officer names were mentioned, which used to be the case historically. They were shielded from public view and not subjected to scrutiny and I guess after Ng and Tey's case they have decided to protect their identities again

  2. Coercion cry at another graft trial...

    //If you admit it, we will help you. If not, there will be trouble. (ie. face death penalty in china)//

    Seems a lot milder here. For all the help, just see where he ends up.


    1. Wow, another great investigative journalism from our foreign press.

      How come I only can read such news not from our local papers huh?
      Maybe one thing to remember.
      Thou shalt not give commandments when thou are ranked 154th best media.

  3. Philippe Sands, the UK QC who wrote the much revered book on Torture Team quoted an FBI who said about interrogation "Sleep deprivation alone is sufficient to compromise intelligence gathering. 'If you do it for a week, you're gonna come out with a guy on the other end who doesn't know what he's talking about."

    Perhaps that applies to notetakers who were also disrupted in their sleep patterns?

    1. Perhaps only notetakers with a troubled conscience will be sleep deprived?

  4. "arrest his wife, tell his bosses to slash his pay and withdraw his permanent resident status"

    Utterly confused. OOH CPIB insulted how cheapo he is with cheap car and cheap condo, then insulted how his japanese wife is high maintenance...gee, tok-gong, xia?

    As for slashing his pay, we already know the CSJ precedent, so that is not a new stunt. But on what basis does CPIB have the power to arrest the wife? Can anyhow create a crime one huh? Curiouser and curiouser.

    1. If going by what is revealed by Tey is true, does it mean CPIB can be equally as powerful as our Emperor ?

    2. CPIB is the dog of the Emperor

    3. The Wifw must have been badly hurt and traumatised as an affected and innocent person. For her husband threatened with her getting involved into the incestigation, she must certainly suffered further.

      Where is justice?

  5. Seriously, did these guys have training at Gitmo?

    Appears they have training from Traids/Mafia leh.

    Is clear the Prof didn't have any NS training. If he had, he wouldn't have expected foot massage and back rub with soothing pipe-in music during interrogation.

    And CPIB should have known better, to use such gangster tactics on suspects. Maybe they think 3rd world tactics still work in 1st world interrogation room.
    I mean, we have swiss standards right? Our officers follow the lawfulness of interrogation techniques under the Geneva convention right?

  6. Check out the trilogy - Red Riding 2009. Cops and Criminals share many common charateristics.

  7. The world is full of lies and the skies are actually grey.

  8. When the doctor wife died and the secret men turned up in the building knocking at neighbors doors well past midnight. No one heard anything. In the dead of the night, you could hear a pin dropped. What more when a couple came home from the in-laws and had the biggest fight after the birth of their second child. Be fearful, citoyens.

  9. I still wonder why the CPIB, a watchdog institution against corruption, belongs to the Prime Minister's Office.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard against the guards themselves?

    Stranger things have happened in Singapore though. Look no further than the NTUC. A minister is actually the labour union chief. Yep, no conflict of interest there.