Little India Riot: Two alleged rioters remanded for one more week for police investigations

Little India after the riot on Dec 8, 2013. Two alleged rioters were on Wednesday afternoon ordered to be remanded for an additional week to assist in ongoing investigations. -- FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Little India after the riot on Dec 8, 2013. Two alleged rioters were on Wednesday afternoon ordered to be remanded for an additional week to assist in ongoing investigations. -- FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Two alleged rioters were on Wednesday afternoon ordered to be remanded for an additional week to assist in ongoing investigations.

Agreeing to the prosecution's request, District Judge Lim Tse Haw cited the scale and sheer amount of evidence involved in the case, but asked for the police to "expedite investigations". The case against them will be heard next Monday, along with 23 others who had first appeared in court on Tuesday.

Both Indian nationals, namely Moorthy Kabildev, 24, and Sathiyamoorthy Sivaraman, 36, were first charged in court last Wednesday for being part of an unlawful assembly at Little India on Dec 8.

A riot was sparked on that day after a fatal traffic accident involving construction worker Sakthivel Kumaravelu, a 33-year-old Indian national, and a private bus operated by BT&Tan.

The two men were alleged to have used a wooden stick to smash the windscreen of a bus, as well as thrown a dustbin, hardened concrete, bottles and a metal drain cover at the bus windows. A third, Mr Rajendran Ranjan, 22, who was charged with similar offences, was one of seven who had his charge withdrawn on Tuesday.

In requesting for an extension, Deputy Public Prosecutor John Lu said that an extensive review of evidence is being done "to determine whether to maintain the current charge, tender additional charges, or even withdraw the current charges if necessary".

When asked if they had anything to say, both men said through the court interpreter that they were uncertain if legal representation will be offered to them.

Lawyer Amarick Gill told the court that both men have met the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) criteria, and that pro bono lawyers will be assigned to them "in due course", if they do not instead seek their own representation.