NParks' officer to go on trial in March over Brompton bicycle deal

NParks assistant director Bernard Lim Yong Soon leaving the Subordinate Courts on Aug 29, 2013. The National Parks Board (NParks) officer behind the Brompton bicycle procurement fiasco in 2012 will go on trial next month. -- ST FILE PHOTO: 
NParks assistant director Bernard Lim Yong Soon leaving the Subordinate Courts on Aug 29, 2013. The National Parks Board (NParks) officer behind the Brompton bicycle procurement fiasco in 2012 will go on trial next month. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The National Parks Board (NParks) officer behind the Brompton bicycle procurement fiasco in 2012 will go on trial next month.

The hearings are scheduled for March 11 to 15 and 25 to 28 and April 1 to 3. This was announced at a pre-trial conference in a district court on Wednesday.

Bernard Lim Yong Soon, who oversaw the purchase of 26 Brompton bicycles, stands accused of lying to auditors investigating the deal. The 41-year-old had allegedly denied he was a friend of a director of Bikehop, the supplier of the bicycles.

A second charge alleges that Lim had persuaded the director to give the same false information to the auditors who, as a result of what was told to them, did not look further into the relationship.

This happened between June and July 2012, when Lim was being questioned over the controversial purchase of the folding bicycles, which cost NParks $2,200 each. But investigations did not uncover any elements of corruption, the authorities said in May last year.

Lim has been suspended on half-pay since July last year.

If convicted of giving false information to public servants, he could be jailed for up to a year, fined up to $5,000, or both.

khush@sph.com.sg