Sex-for-grades trial: Tey to call 16 witnesses for defence

Law professor Tey Tsun Hang has been allowed to call 16 witnesses for his defence when the sex-for-grades corruption trial resumes next month.

Tey, who is conducting his own defence, had initially drawn up a list of 22 people.

Still, the final number is unusually high for such criminal cases, legal experts told The Straits Times yesterday. It includes his doctors, National University of Singapore (NUS) law faculty colleagues and former students, among others.

Tey, 41, faces six charges of corruptly obtaining gifts and sex from his ex-student Darinne Ko Wen Hui, 23, in exchange for improving her grades.

A trial within a trial was held to determine if statements Tey made to officers from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) can be admitted as evidence. The defence case for this is due to start on April 1.

Tey arrived at the Subordinate Courts yesterday for a closed-door hearing on the witness list. Of the 16 approved, five are expected to testify in the trial within a trial. They include Alexandra Hospital doctors and NUS law dean Simon Chesterman.

Other NUS administrative and teaching staff may also give evidence. The NUS provost Tan Eng Chye is also on the list.

Former students, including Supreme Court Assistant Registrar Colin Seow - who allegedly gave a printer to Tey - could also take the stand.

Former student Elaine Chew, however, was not allowed as a witness. Tey had earlier said in court that CPIB officers had pressured him to confess he had "corruptly extracted sex" from her at his office, on the same couch where he and Ms Ko had sex.

The Straits Times understands that Ms Chew is overseas.

BRYNA SINGH