Healing the Divide's Iris Koh granted bail, gets new charge for tearing police statement

Iris Koh with her husband Raymond Ng outside the Police Cantonment complex on Feb 4, 2022. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Iris Koh, the founder of anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide, was granted $20,000 bail on Friday (Feb 4).

She was also slapped with a new charge of obstructing a public servant in discharge of her public functions.

According to court documents, Koh is accused of tearing up a printed copy of her statement recorded on Jan 25 at Police Cantonment Complex.

Last Friday (Jan 28), Koh was charged with conspiring with general practitioner Jipson Quah to make false representations to the Ministry of Health that unvaccinated people were given the Sinopharm vaccine, when they were not.

Koh, 46, appeared in court via video link and wore a white polo T-shirt.

As part of bail conditions, she is not allowed to contact, directly or indirectly, co-accused persons, alleged accomplices or any witnesses, including members of the group whom she had allegedly referred to Quah.

When Deputy Public Prosecutor Samuel Yap told the court of these conditions, Koh's lawyer Clarence Lun said the last restriction was overly broad as there were more than 6,000 people in the group.

He said: "We think it would be in the interest of justice and fairness, (to have) a certain specificity."

During the interaction between the lawyers, Koh raised her hand several times wishing to speak.

When she was finally allowed to do so by District Judge Ng Peng Hong, she said that, because of the nature of this case, she would need to contact her members to gather evidence for her defence.

Judge Ng clarified that if any members were needed to help with the defence, Koh's lawyer could speak to the prosecution about this.

Koh had been denied bail in the High Court on Monday. The prosecution said then that at least 20 patients were involved in the alleged vaccination fraud conspiracy that she has been charged with. 

The prosecution added that Koh had been uncooperative since her arrest on Jan 21, and this had delayed police investigations.

As part of the bail conditions, she is not allowed to contact co-accused persons, including general practitioner Jipson Quah. PHOTO: JIPSON QUAH/FACEBOOK

Koh also repeatedly complained of anxiety and panic attacks, but refused medical attention.

Justice Vincent Hoong had agreed with the prosecutors that Koh's lack of cooperation with police investigators contributed to the need to remand her for investigations.

He noted that her belligerence, obstructive behaviour and lack of cooperation with investigations during the initial period of remand, which started on Jan 23, was appalling.

Quah, 33, and his assistant, Thomas Chua Cheng Soon, 40, were granted bail on Monday.

Koh was granted bail on Friday as she is no longer required to be in custody for investigations.

She left Police Cantonment Complex at about 1pm on Friday with her husband Raymond Ng, who was filming a Facebook Live video. About 10 supporters were also there to receive her. 

Koh, who was wearing a white top and a red sweater, was holding a bouquet of flowers.

She told The Straits Times that she was relieved and happy to be out on bail.

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