Opposition politician Lim Tean arrested for criminal breach of trust, investigated for unlawful stalking

Mr Lim, the leader of the Peoples Voice political party, was arrested for an alleged offence of criminal breach of trust under the Penal Code. PHOTO: PEOPLES VOICE

SINGAPORE - Lawyer Lim Tean was arrested in his office on Friday morning (Oct 2), police said in a statement.

Mr Lim, who is the leader of the Peoples Voice political party, was arrested for suspected criminal breach of trust under the Penal Code.

He is also being investigated for an alleged offence of unlawful stalking under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Mr Lim's lawyer M. Ravi, who posted about the arrest on Facebook on Friday, said his client had protested that the arrest was politically motivated.

Rejecting those allegations, the police said: "Mr Lim Tean's alleged victims had filed police reports alleging serious offences by him against them, and the police have a duty to investigate the allegations."

Lawyers acting for Mr Lim's former client had lodged a police report for criminal breach of trust, police said.

The client, whom Mr Lim had represented in a motor injury suit, alleged that the lawyer misappropriated a sum of money awarded to him as damages by the court.

Mr Lim is also under investigation for an unlawful stalking complaint by a former employee. Police said the employee alleged that she was harassed by him when she was working at his law firm, and referred police to text messages that had been exchanged between her and Mr Lim.

The police said it contacted and issued Mr Lim with a written notice on Sept 23, instructing him to attend a compulsory interview at the Police Cantonment Complex on Monday to assist with investigations into the two offences.

He was also told that he could reschedule the interview to another date if necessary.

However, Mr Lim replied through his lawyer on Sunday, the day before the interview, saying he had no intention to turn up for the session and alleging that the investigations were politically motivated, the police said.

Extract from a letter sent by Mr Lim's lawyer. SCREENGRAB: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

"As Mr Lim Tean did not cooperate with the notice to attend an interview with the police, and had stated clearly that he had no intent to comply, the police had no choice but to arrest Mr Lim Tean in order to conduct the investigations," the police said.

The arrest would not have been necessary if Mr Lim had complied with the police notice to come for an interview, it added.

Responding to queries, the police shared a copy of the letter sent by Mr Lim's lawyer on Sunday.

In the letter, Mr Lim said he was busy preparing for "a very important trial involving the Prime Minister" in the High Court the following week, and will not be turning up for the Monday interview.

"Our client instructs also that he has no intention of turning up for any interview as we are verily instructed that you are investigating trumped up charges against him which are politically motivated," the letter said.

Mr Lim is representing financial adviser Leong Sze Hian, who was sued for defamation by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The hearing is set to take place from next Tuesday to next Friday.

In his Facebook post, Mr Ravi said Mr Lim had instructed him to act as his defence lawyer, adding that the arrest was "unlawful" as the case in which Mr Lim is accused of criminal breach of trust is before the civil court.

Three police officers from the Commercial Affairs Department had barged into Mr Lim's office to arrest him while he was preparing for the libel suit with Mr Leong, he wrote.

Mr Ravi also posted photos showing Mr Lim, clad in red, being handcuffed.

He later updated that Mr Lim has been offered bail, and his bailor is Mr Leong.

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