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Police arrest opposition party leader Lim Tean after he failed to cooperate with investigations into alleged criminal breach of trust, stalking

SINGAPORE — Police have arrested opposition party leader and lawyer Lim Tean for an alleged offence of criminal breach of trust.

Mr Lim Tean was arrested by three police officers from the Commercial Affairs Department, lawyer M Ravi said.

Mr Lim Tean was arrested by three police officers from the Commercial Affairs Department, lawyer M Ravi said.

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  • The police said they had to arrest Mr Lim Tean after he failed to attend a compulsory interview on Sept 28
  • The interview was for investigations into criminal breach of trust and stalking
  • Through his lawyer M Ravi, Mr Lim said that the arrests were “politically motivated”
  • The police said Mr Lim’s allegation is “baseless”
  • Mr Ravi said bail has been offered to Mr Lim and he would be released soon

 

SINGAPORE  — Police have arrested opposition party leader and lawyer Lim Tean for an alleged offence of criminal breach of trust. 

Mr Lim, the chief of People’s Voice party, which contested in this year's General Election, is also being investigated for an alleged offence of unlawful stalking, the police said in a statement on Friday (Oct 2).

For the criminal breach of trust offence, a police report was filed by the counsel of Mr Lim’s former client, for whom Mr Lim had acted in a motor injury suit.

The former client alleged that Mr Lim had misappropriated a sum of money awarded to him as damages by the court.

As for the unlawful stalking offence, a police report was made by Mr Lim’s former employee, who alleged that she was harassed by him when she was working at his law firm. 

The employee also referred the police to phone text messages that had been exchanged between her and Mr Lim.

The police said that they contacted Mr Lim and issued him with a written notice on Sept 23 under Section 21(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code to attend a compulsory interview on Sept 28 at the Police Cantonment Complex, to assist with investigations into the two alleged offences. 

He was also told that if he wanted, he could reschedule the interview to another date.

Mr Lim then replied through his lawyer on Sept 27 that he had no intention of turning up for any police interview. He also made baseless allegations that the investigations against him were politically motivated.

The police said: “(We) have a responsibility to investigate reports which are made, if prima facie, they disclose a basis for further investigations.

“Persons called for police interviews must comply.”

Since Mr Lim did not cooperate with the notice to attend an interview with police and had stated clearly that he had no intent to comply, the police “had no choice” but to arrest him in order to conduct the investigations, they added.

This would not have been necessary if he complied with the police notice to go for an interview, the police said.

“The police reject his allegations that the investigations are politically motivated. Mr Lim Tean’s alleged victims had filed police reports alleging serious offences by him against them, and the police have a duty to investigate the allegations.”

In a Facebook post, lawyer M Ravi said that he has been asked by Mr Lim to represent him.

“Three police officers from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) just barged into the office and arrested Lim Tean while he is preparing his case with Leong Sze Hian in his room for next Tuesday's defamation trial to cross-examine the prime minister,” Mr Ravi wrote.

Mr Lim is representing Mr Leong in a defamation suit filed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Mr Ravi continued: “Lim Tean protested when they placed the handcuff on him that his arrest is politically motivated… the subject matter in relation to the investigation is before the civil court and I have written to the police to that effect to respect the due process. Therefore this arrest is unlawful.”

In an update on Friday evening to his Facebook post, Mr Ravi said that bail had been posted by Mr Leong and that Mr Lim would be released shortly after it is processed. 

TIMING OF INVESTIGATION ‘DELIBERATE’

On Friday evening as well, the police published on Facebook and released to the media a copy of a letter written by Mr Ravi on behalf of Mr Lim. Some parts of the letter containing allegations and information about the case were redacted.

The letter, sent to CAD on Sept 27, stated that Mr Lim was not able to turn up for the police interview because he had to prepare for the upcoming trial as well as another major hearing in the High Court.

The letter also said that the timing of the investigation was chosen “deliberately”, knowing that Mr Lim would be busy with the preparations.

Mr Ravi then pointed out that the investigation into the unlawful stalking allegations falls under Section 7(1) of the Protection From Harassment Act, which is not an area covered by CAD.

“It is astounding that a special investigative body such as the Commercial Affairs Department would fail to cognise these pertinent factors in making a decision to investigate such clearly frivolous and vexatious complaints,” he wrote.

In the letter, Mr Lim is said to be planning to start a “judicial review” seeing that there is “illegitimate collusion” on the part of CAD and the authorities.

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lim tean police arrest criminal breach of trust harassment

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