Alleged SEA Games match-fixer remanded after court denies him bail

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean who was among four charged with attempting to fix a SEA Games football match between Timor Leste and Malaysia was denied bail on Wednesday.

Rajendran R. Kurusamy, 55, who is facing three corruption charges, had tried through his lawyer Edmond Pereira to get bail to attend to family matters as well as a medical condition.

Mr Pereira said his client had a problem with his liver, and had missed two scannings scheduled at Mount Elizabeth.

He said Rajendran's family is in Singapore, and there is no likelihood of him leaving the country.

He added that his client was in Malaysia in 2010 after selling his business here. While Rajendran was facing labour-related offences in 2011, he returned to answer them and was allowed to attend to his business in Malaysia, he said. The matter was eventually dealt with.

Mr Pereira said if need be, his client could report to the investigation officer daily and the court could impose conditions for bail.

"He should not be held just for the sake of being held because he has been involved in such match-fixing activities," he added.

But Deputy Public Prosecutor Navin Naidu argued that Rajendran's charges were non-bailable offences, and there was a high risk of him absconding if released on bail.

He said Rajendran had a previous conviction for match-fixing in Malaysia and had a strong propensity to commit such offences.

He has the means and ability to survive overseas, the DPP added.

There is a real risk that the SEA Games - which are ongoing - could still be fixed, and the danger of witnesses being tampered with, he told the court.

To date, several people have been arrested in the course of investigation and released on agency bail. These were either potential witnesses or even potential accused persons, the DPP said.

District Judge Eddy Tham rejected counsel's application for bail and remanded Rajendran, whose pre-trial conference is fixed on June 18.

A pre-trial conference for the other accused - Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes, 49, a technical director of the Football Federation of Timor Leste; former Timor Leste player Moises Natalino De Jesus, 32, and Nasiruddin, 52, an Indonesian who goes by one name - is fixed for June 15.

elena@sph.com.sg