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Match-fixing trial: Ding 'communicated with Thai referee on match-fixing'

Published on Feb 4, 2014 1:58 PM

The third tranche of the trial against alleged match-fixer Eric Ding Si Yang started on Tuesday as intrigue over two of seven mobile phones seized from him upon arrest took centrestage.

A grey Nokia phone he had allegedly used to communicate with Lebanese referee Ali Sabbagh via 10 calls was not registered to Ding but to a foreign national, Chen Xiaochun. Prosecution witness and the case's lead investigation officer, Senior Special Investigator Jeffrey Tan, said: "The identity number reflected is a foreigner PIN number, we were unable to trace this person."

But SSI Tan said that the phone calls made using the Nokia phone corroborate with records in Mr Sabbagh's phone, as well as the referee's earlier statements recorded by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

Meanwhile, the Line chat application in an iPhone bearing a SIM card registered to Ding contained messages between him and a Thai referee about another official who was identified as "Thanom". SSI Tan said: "The user of the phone is talking to some Thai referee, and it has connotations of match-fixing." Ding shook his head upon hearing this testimony, which also prompted a half-hour debate between parties on whether the messages should be admitted as evidence in court.

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