Lim Tean arrested for suspected CBT
He is also probed for alleged unlawful stalking, police rejects lawyer's claim that arrest is politically motivated.
Lawyer Lim Tean was arrested in his office yesterday morning, the police said in a statement.
Mr Lim, who is the leader of the Peoples Voice political party, was arrested for suspected criminal breach of trust under the Penal Code.
He is also being investigated for an alleged offence of unlawful stalking under the Protection from Harassment Act.
Mr Lim's lawyer, Mr M. Ravi, who posted about the arrest on Facebook yesterday, said his client had protested that the arrest was politically motivated.
Rejecting those allegations, the police said: "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."
Lawyers acting for Mr Lim's former client had lodged a police report for criminal breach of trust, the police said.
The client, whom Mr Lim had represented in a motor injury suit, alleged that the lawyer misappropriated a sum of money awarded to him as damages by the court.
Mr Lim is also under investigation for an unlawful stalking complaint by a former employee.
The police said the employee alleged that she was harassed by him when she was working at his law firm, and referred the police to text messages that had been exchanged between her and Mr Lim.
The police said they contacted and issued Mr Lim with a written notice on Sept 23, instructing him to attend a compulsory interview at the Police Cantonment Complex on Monday to assist with investigations into the two offences.
He was also told that he could reschedule the interview to another date if necessary.
However, Mr Lim replied through his lawyer on Sunday, the day before the interview, saying he had no intention to turn up for the session and alleging that the investigations were politically motivated, the police said.
"As Mr Lim Tean did not cooperate with the notice to attend an interview with the police, and had stated clearly that he had no intent to comply, the police had no choice but to arrest Mr Lim Tean in order to conduct the investigations," the police said.
The arrest would not have been necessary if Mr Lim had complied with the police notice to come for an interview, they added.
Responding to queries, the police shared a copy of the letter sent by Mr Lim's lawyer on Sunday.
In the letter, Mr Lim said he was busy preparing for "a very important trial involving the Prime Minister" in the High Court the following week, and will not be turning up for the Monday interview.
"Our client instructs also that he has no intention of turning up for any interview as we are verily instructed that you are investigating trumped up charges against him which are politically motivated," the letter said.
Mr Lim is representing financial adviser Leong Sze Hian, who was sued for defamation by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The hearing is set to take place from next Tuesday to next Friday.
In his Facebook post, Mr Ravi said that Mr Lim had instructed him to act as his defence lawyer, adding that the arrest was "unlawful" as the case in which Mr Lim is accused of criminal breach of trust is before the civil court.
Three police officers from the Commercial Affairs Department had barged into Mr Lim's office to arrest him while he was preparing for the suit with Mr Leong, the defence lawyer wrote.
Mr Ravi also posted photos showing Mr Lim, clad in red, being handcuffed.
He later updated that Mr Lim had has been bailed out by Mr Leong.
Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.