Ex-table tennis chief acquitted of misappropriating funds to pay coach

Choo Wee Khiang, former president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA), at the Subordinate Court. Choo was on Friday cleared of misappropriating association funds to pay an assistant coach. -- FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 
Choo Wee Khiang, former president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA), at the Subordinate Court. Choo was on Friday cleared of misappropriating association funds to pay an assistant coach. -- FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 

Former table tennis chief Choo Wee Khiang was on Friday cleared of misappropriating association funds to pay an assistant coach.

District Judge Lim Tse Haw said that Choo, 58, had not dishonestly misappropriated $8,400 of funds from the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STAA) to pay Mr Luo Jie, who moonlighted as a table tennis coach at Fuhua Secondary School between 2001 and 2003. The judge also held that Choo had not intended to cause wrongful loss to the association, nor wrongful gain to the coach, since the money was already contractually due to him.

STTA high performance manager Koh Li Ping, 44, was also acquitted of helping Choo commit the offence.

It is unclear if the prosecution is appealing the decision but a pre-trial conference has been set next Tuesday for other charges of corruption against Choo. These include accepting about $2,000 in bribes from former coaches and a national player between 2003 and 2005.