Key witness in Peter Lim trial questioned over differing statements to CPIB

The prosecution's key witness in a corruption trial was questioned on the differing statements she gave to officers with regards to her relationship with former civil defence chief Peter Lim Sin Pang.

The Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) had on Monday applied to substitute parts of Ms Pang's court testimony which were inconsistent with her statements given to Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) earlier. On being questioned, Ms Pang agreed on most counts that her CPIB statements were more accurate, as her "memory was fresher then" compared to now. Her statements were recorded between Jan 5 and Feb 21 in 2012.

Ms Pang Chor Mui was being cross-examined by DPP Sherlyn Neo on Tuesday over the statements she had given to the CPIB when she admitted that she had previously given CPIB officers two reasons to explain why she had a tryst with Lim in 2010.

In a statement recorded on Feb 13, she had said of the oral sex: "It is a mixed giving, I liked him and also I did not want to antagonise him. It is not good for our friendship and maybe my company's dealings with SCDF." Ms Pang said she initially told the CPIB officer recording her statement only that she liked Lim, but later changed her answer.

It also emerged in court on Tuesday that Ms Pang was in a "serious, intimate" relationship with her then boss, Mr Tamil Selvan, when she had the sexual encounter with Lim. At that time, she was the general manager at Nimrod Engineering, and Mr Selvan was the managing director. In her CPIB statements, she had characterised him as her "boyfriend", adding that she had put a stop to further intimacy with Lim because she did not want to "betray Selvan".

Lim, 52, faces one charge of corruption for obtaining oral sex from Ms Pang in exchange for furthering the business interests of her then-employer. The prosecution has linked the episode with an SCDF tender that Nimrod Engineering bid for a year later, saying that Lim had tipped Ms Pang off about it before it was made public.

But defence lawyers Hamidul Haq and Bala Chandran maintained that the tryst was a culmination of frequent flirting and teasing between Lim and Ms Pang over the years.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.