Ng Boon Gay
15 February 2013. The District Court cleared former Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon Gay of all corruption charges. Mr Ng was charged with four counts of corruption for obtaining sexual favours from Ms Cecilia Sue in return for furthering her then employers’ chances of winning a contact with CNB. The prosecution heavily depended on its star witness Ms Cecilia Sue Meng, an IT executive. The Judge found her testimony ‘unsafe’. The judge said that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubts. There was no evidence to show that Mr Ng knew her then employers Hitachi Data Systems was interests in a contract he had approved when he headed the CNB. The judge noted that Ms Sue’s explanations for material discrepancies in her statements were unconvincing and the discrepancies went to the crux of the charges. The judge noted that Ms Sue was untruthful to both the court and the law enforcement agencies. In contrast judge found that Mr Ng testified in a forthright manner and had no ulterior motive let alone a corrupt intent. For instance, Ms Sue gave graphic details of her sexual encounters with Mr Ng to Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) whereas in the court she denied any relationship with him. She also told the court that Mr Ng had forced her to perform fellatio on him on four occasions but she told CPIB that these acts were in the context of their relationship. The judge was not satisfied with her explanations for the discrepancies. “Her claims that she was tired, stressed and frightened (when her statement was taken by the CPIB) even if true, would not satisfactorily account for the wide divergence in her evidence,” he added. There were more discrepancies in the disclosure of CNB’s budget surplus information. First Ms Sue claimed that Mr Ng had given her the budget information in the last quarter of 2010 but when the defence pointed out that Mr Ng had not assumed office in CNB in 2010, she corrected herself by saying that she got the information in early 2011. The judge accepted one key point from the defence that the two were in consensual intimate relationship at all material times. The judge pointed out to the intimate text messages sent by Ms Sue as well as the late-night calls they exchanged indicated that the accused could not have forced himself on Ms Sue. The judge was also not convinced that Ms Sue was not truthful because she was afraid of Mr Ng and he had taken advantage of her in the past years. The judge said that he had the opportunity to observe her demeanour, the manner in which she gave evidence and in particular her exchanges with defence counsel. He did not find her as someone who could be easily taken advantage of or someone who would cower in fear of persons in authority. On the other hand, the judge found the evidence given by Mr Ng was forthright, consistent and reliable. The only exception was his claim that he did not know of Ms Sue’s dealings with CNB. The judge concluded that the intentions of both Ms Sue and the accused were innocuous in giving and receiving fellatio. He found these sexual encounters took place in the context of an intimate relationship. In the end the judge said that the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt due to poor credibility of its key witness. Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee said that the prosecution would study the oral grounds of decision to decide whether to appeal. The Ministry of Home Affairs said further disciplinary action against Mr Ng would depend on whether there would be an appeal by the prosecution. The Attorney-General’s Chambers said that it had not decided whether to press charges against Ms Sue for corruption or for lying in court and to the CPIB.