Two men, in court for a business dispute, trade blows outside court; fined $1,000 each

Singaporeans Vasily Chuply (right) and Alexander Kalinin were on Thursday, June 5, 2014, each fined $1,000 over a 20-second scuffle outside the State Courts in Havelock Square. -- ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW
Singaporeans Vasily Chuply (right) and Alexander Kalinin were on Thursday, June 5, 2014, each fined $1,000 over a 20-second scuffle outside the State Courts in Havelock Square. -- ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Two men were on Thursday each fined $1,000 over a 20-second scuffle outside the State Courts in Havelock Square.

Singaporeans Vasily Chuply, 24, and Alexander Kalinin, 37, pleaded guilty in a district court to fighting in a public place at around 3.14pm on February 13 which left both men with injuries including bruises, abrasions and cuts.

Originally from Ukraine, both were former business partners who set up the Rasputin restaurant at Clarke Quay. On the day of the scuffle, they had just attended a hearing at the State Courts related to a business dispute between them.

The court heard that after the hearing, the men began to quarrel and exchange vulgarities as they made their way out of the building. This escalated to pushing and shoving. Chuply pulled Kalinin by the collar and punched his face. They then scuffled and exchanged punches.

Chuply's mother tried unsuccessfully to separate the men. It was 20 seconds before auxiliary police officers intervened.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Adriani Marhain pointed this out, adding that the men had not voluntarily broken off the fight. She also highlighted the fact that the the fight had taken place outside a key legal institution, in full view of the public, and showed little respect on the part of both men for the law and its consequences.

Asking the court to impose a fine on their clients, lawyers Mr Amarjit Singh and Mr Chia Boon Teck agreed that what had happened was "unfortunate".

Chuply is the marketing manager of firm Toxic Entertainment, which operates a dance club. Kalinin is the managing director of freight firm Gardarika Enterprises. Both men had no previous convictions.

The maximum penalty for affray is a jail term of one year and $5,000 in fines.