Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Lawyer Lim Tean charged with criminal breach of trust and stalking an ex-employee; may face more charges

SINGAPORE — Lawyer and opposition party leader Lim Tean was charged on Thursday (May 12) with criminal breach of trust, stalking a former employee, and acting as a lawyer without a valid practising certificate.

Lawyer Lim Tean charged with criminal breach of trust and stalking an ex-employee; may face more charges

Lim Tean at the State Courts on May 12, 2022.

  • The lawyer of 31 years’ standing currently faces five criminal charges
  • He is accused of sending flirtatious messages to an ex-employee and pocketing S$30,000 from a former client, among other charges
  • A prosecutor said that investigations into further potential offences are ongoing

SINGAPORE — Lawyer and opposition party leader Lim Tean was charged on Thursday (May 12) with criminal breach of trust, stalking a former employee, and acting as a lawyer without a valid practising certificate.

Lim, 57, who heads the Peoples Voice party and law firm Carson Law Chambers, may face further charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust, Deputy Public Prosecutor Edwin Soh told the court.

He was initially arrested in October 2020 when he did not cooperate with police investigations.

He then took to the High Court to prevent the police from continuing their probe against him, but his application was dismissed and he was ordered to pay legal costs.

His unlawful stalking charge relates to the alleged harassment of a former employee in 2020 while she was working at his law firm.

She had complained that he invited her for dinner and drinks at his home and persistently addressed her using inappropriate terms such as “darling” and “baby”, even after she told him that she felt uncomfortable with this, as it was stated in High Court judge Ang Cheng Hock’s grounds of decision.

Court documents showed that he was said to have repeatedly sent "flirtatious text messages" on the phone to Ms S Priyanka Aunnucia between April and May 2020, which caused her distress. This was during the semi-lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As for Lim’s alleged criminal breach of trust offence, he is accused of misappropriating S$30,000, which had been awarded to his former client, Mr Suresh Kumar A Jesupal, as settlement in respect of a motor injury civil suit.

This purportedly happened between Nov 14 and Dec 4, 2019.

He also faces three charges of acting as an advocate or solicitor without a valid practising certificate. He allegedly did so on 66 occasions between April 1 and June 9 last year.

This includes a hearing on April 19 over a defamation lawsuit brought by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong against his client Terry Xu, the former chief editor of now-defunct sociopolitical site The Online Citizen.

On Thursday, DPP Soh said that the police's Commercial Affairs Department needs two months "to complete investigations for further potential offences" against Lim, which involve "potential cheating and criminal breach of trust".

District Judge Terence Tay adjourned the case to July 6 for a pre-trial conference. Lim remains out on bail of S$30,000.

If convicted of unlawful stalking, he could be jailed up to 12 months or fined up to S$5,000, or both. 

Those convicted of committing criminal breach of trust as an attorney can be jailed for life or up to 20 years, as well as fined.

He may also face a prison term of up to six months or a fine of up to S$25,000, or both, if convicted of acting as an advocate or solicitor without a valid practising certificate.

Lim Tean (front row, third from right) posing for a group photo with supporters after his court hearing on May 12, 2022. They included founders of anti-vaccination group Healing the Divide, Ms Iris Koh (front row, second from right) and Mr Raymond Ng (front row, right).

CLAIMED PEOPLE WANT TO 'SMEAR' HIM

The police first announced that they would be charging Lim on Tuesday, adding that investigations against him for other matters are ongoing.

On Tuesday evening, Lim then published a seven-minute video on his Facebook page.

He alleged that his former client "did not lose a single cent out of the S$30,000" and claimed that there were people who were trying to "smear" him, as well as disqualify him from the running in the country's next General Election. 

He posted another video on Wednesday, claiming that the former client did not turn up for a disciplinary tribunal hearing that morning.

The hearing was convened to address a charge of professional misconduct that the Law Society of Singapore supposedly brought against Lim. TODAY has reached out to the society for comment.

Some of Lim’s notable cases include two defamation lawsuits against Prime Minister Lee, which Mr Lee eventually won. Lim represented the defendants — blogger Leong Sze Hian, as well as Terry Xu.

He is also defending activist Gilbert Goh who is set to go on trial later this month for allegedly taking part in a public assembly without a permit.

Earlier this year, Lim represented several SBS Transit bus drivers in a civil trial over alleged non-payment of overtime pay.

Related topics

court crime lawyer lim tean criminal breach of trust stalking

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa