Cecilia Sue Siew Nang
1 October 2012. Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon Gay’s defence counsel Tan Chee Meng applied for or the impeachment of the credibility of prosecution witness Cecilia Sue Siew Nang in court on Monday. Tan noted inconsistencies in Sue’s testimony and her statements to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB). He made two applications: One was based on inconsistencies in Sue’s statements on whether Ng had in her opinion influenced the award of an IT project handled by her. Another was based on inconsistencies in the time period Sue claimed Ng had told her about CNB’s remaining budget. In support of his first application Tan quoted Sue’s statement to CPIB that it not possible for Ng to influence the results of the tender because he will have to follow the recommendation of his subordinates. She also told in her statement that Ng never gave her any impression that he could influence the decision on the award of tender in her favour but it was his designation that gave her the impression of authority. Yet she told the court on Monday that given his position as head of the department he would be able to influence the award of the project. In support of the second application, Tan noted that Sue claimed in court last week that she learnt the CNB’s left over budget from Paul Chew of CNB’s IT department. Tan said that it would have been impossible for Ng to have told Sue of the left over budget of $320,000 as he joined CNB in the start of 2011 but Sue was already aware of the left over budget in late 2010. She maintained that the reason she still met up with him on the dates included in Ng’s four charges was because she still wanted to maintain a cordial relationship with him and not offend him. Sue broke down at one point in court, insisting that whatever the media has written about her were “wrongful reports” that discriminated against her. She said, “Whatever they have written, my position remains the same: the accused has overstepped his position and that’s all I have to say.” The prosecution and defence lawyers have agreed that all procedures were adhered to in contracts awarded to Sue’s employers by CNB at the time of the offences. Following the contradiction in Sue’s evidence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee applied to cross-examine Sue as a hostile witness. He also requested admission of five statements given to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) investigators. A hostile witness may also be prosecuted for giving a false statement to the police under Section 182 of the Penal Code and perjury to the Court. Sue disagreed when DPP Tan said she had a “consensual relationship with the accused from 2009 to September or October 2010”. She agreed that still depended on him for advice. The prosecution’s case is based on anti-corruption laws that state that any civil servant who accepts gratification from anyone who has, or is seeking business dealings, with the Government is presumed to have done so corruptly. This means that the onus is on Ng to prove his innocence. The prosecution is emphasising that even if there was no actual influence in the award of the contract, the fact that gratification was obtained is cause for great concern and can amount to criminal behaviour. The prosecution is expected to wrap up its questioning of Sue on Tuesday after which a third witness – CNB’s Deputy Director Marvin Sim – is expected to testify on 2 October 2012.