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Iswaran allowed to leave S’pore to help son settle in at Australia uni; case transferred to High Court

Iswaran allowed to leave S’pore to help son settle in at Australia uni; case transferred to High Court

Source: Straits Times
Article Date: 09 Feb 2024
Author: Nadine Chua

Case transferred to High Court, with prosecution saying this was due to strong public interest in it.

Former transport minister S. Iswaran has been granted permission to leave Singapore to settle his son into university in Australia, three weeks after he was handed 27 charges, which he pleaded not guilty to.

On Feb 8, Iswaran, who is out on $800,000 bail, turned up at the State Courts at around 2.30pm to make an application to leave jurisdiction from Feb 16 to March 4.

The prosecution imposed several conditions to this application, including a cash bail of $500,000. Iswaran must also provide the investigation officer (IO) with his itinerary and his address overseas, and remain contactable by the IO.

He must also surrender his travel documents within 24 hours of his return to Singapore.

Iswaran’s bailor, who was identified in court as Mr Ng, agreed to those conditions before the judge.

When The Straits Times approached him after the hearing to ask what his relation to Iswaran is, Mr Ng did not respond and walked away.

Iswaran’s case will also be transferred to the High Court, with the prosecution saying this was due to the strong public interest in this case.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Jiang Ke-Yue and Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelvin Chong did not elaborate on this. Chief Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng, who leads the prosecution team in this case, was not present in court.

Senior Counsel Davinder Singh from Davinder Singh Chambers, who is leading the defence team for Iswaran, was also not in court.

Defence lawyer Navin Shanmugaraj Thevar requested an early trial for his client so the “evidence can be fully aired and the matter decided as soon as possible”.

Mr Thevar said he wrote to the prosecution in January to indicate Iswaran’s request for an early trial, and agreed that this matter should be heard in the High Court.

The defence lawyer then sought the prosecution’s agreement to an early trial, adding that this should be possible, as the authorities have “had a long time to investigate this matter”.

In response, Mr Jiang said the judge’s schedule in the High Court should be taken into consideration for this, and that this matter can be addressed when a case conference is called.

Source: Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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