The corruption trial of Singapore's former anti-drug chief kicked off yesterday, with the prosecution claiming he obtained sexual favours from an IT executive despite knowing she wanted business from his agency.
This, the prosecution said, presumes he had corrupt intent under graft laws.
But lawyers for Ng Boon Gay countered that he and Ms Cecilia Sue had been having an affair since 2009, two years before the first of four alleged trysts that he is facing graft charges for.
"(He) does not deny his personal failings in having strayed from his marriage and the fact he had a relationship with Ms Sue which started since 2009," said his lawyer Tan Chee Meng.
"However, personal indiscretions aside, (he) is not corrupt."
Mr Tan questioned why Ng was being charged with corruption for only four of their trysts, when his client had an "intimate" relationship with her that lasted three years.
Ng, 46, the former head of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), faces four counts of obtaining oral sex from Ms Sue, 36, between July and December last year. This was allegedly in exchange for business favours during her time as a sales manager in Hitachi Data Systems and Oracle Corporation Singapore.
Opening the prosecution's case, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee said Ms Sue was "pressured" into providing sexual favours because she was concerned that Ng would be offended if she rejected his demands.
Ng, the DPP said, knew, or had reason to believe, that among the reasons she would not reject his demands were that she knew his final approval was needed for procurement matters, and she was concerned about her previous and future IT contracts with CNB.
As the head of an important agency, Ng had the power to approve or reject contracts valued up to $1 million.
DPP Tan said evidence will show that the four sexual acts took place within three contexts:
- CNB had recently acquired or was in the process of acquiring IT products which she marketed.
- Ng knowing from conversations with her that she was interested in having CNB buy her products.
- In one of the charges, Ng had demanded oral sex "on the same day that CNB officially contracted to buy certain products which she had marketed". She had also suggested on that day a specific piece of software to him as something that could help CNB.
The prosecution acknowledged that the firms Ms Sue worked for were not direct vendors of the CNB at the time of the alleged offences.
But the DPP pointed out that under the Prevention of Corruption Act, if a person insists on gratification from someone who has or is seeking to have business dealings with the Government, his conduct is assumed to be tainted with corrupt intent.
The onus is on Ng to prove otherwise.
The day started with the prosecution applying for an anonymity order to prevent the media from publishing Ms Sue's details or photograph. The DPP said she has been suffering from depression since news of the matter broke.
But Ng's lawyer argued that her details were already public. The request was turned down.
Ms Sue, who left Oracle in July, is expected to testify as a witness later this week.