SINGAPORE — Leader of the Opposition and Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh has hired lawyers to defend him against the two charges he faces of lying to a Committee of Privileges over Raeesah Khan’s case.

Singh, 47, did not turn up in person on Wednesday morning (April 17) for a pre-trial conference in the State Courts — an administrative hearing to prepare the prosecution and the accused for trial.

Pre-trial conferences are usually held in chambers and are inaccessible to the media or the public. They can also be held over Zoom video call.

Singh was newly represented by lawyers Mr Andre Darius Jumabhoy and Mr Aristotle Emmanuel Eng Zhen Yang, who attended the pre-trial conference on his behalf before District Judge Chee Min Ping.

A note in the court’s system indicated that the pre-trial conference would be adjourned to May 31, adding that “defence counsel has been recently instructed”.

Mr Jumabhoy fronts an eponymous boutique law firm. On his website, he is described as “a dedicated trial lawyer” with experience in criminal and civil law, as well as white-collar crime.

He began his legal career in 2003 as a barrister in London and returned to Singapore in 2011, joining the Attorney-General’s Chambers as a Deputy Public Prosecutor.

He obtained his Bachelor of Laws from King’s College London in 2002.

When contacted by CNA for a statement, Mr Jumabhoy’s law firm confirmed that they were acting for Singh, but said they could not provide other information at this juncture.

The two charges Singh faces allege that he wilfully made a false answer on Dec 10, 2021 and Dec 15, 2021 in the public hearing room at Parliament House.

This was during an inquiry before the Committee of Privileges, centering on the case of Raeesah Khan, who had lied over a sexual assault case and accused the police of mishandling the case.

Singh allegedly testified falsely that he had wanted Ms Khan to clarify what she said in Parliament about accompanying a rape victim to a police station, and that he spoke to Ms Khan as he wanted to convey to her that she had to clarify what she said over the same issue. 

Singh pleaded not guilty to his charges when he was first charged in court on March 19.

If convicted of lying under the Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act, he could be jailed for up to three years, fined up to S$7,000, or both per charge. CNA


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