Sex-for-grades: Appeal hearing dates for former law professor set for October

Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang arrives at the Subordinate Courts on June 26, 2013, to begin his five-month jail term for corruption. The appeal hearing for Tey against his conviction and five-month jail sentence has been set for October. -- ST FI
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang arrives at the Subordinate Courts on June 26, 2013, to begin his five-month jail term for corruption. The appeal hearing for Tey against his conviction and five-month jail sentence has been set for October. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM CP 

The appeal hearing for former law professor Tey Tsun Hang against his conviction and five-month jail sentence has been set for October. This comes after defence counsel Peter Low requested for the original Aug 6 date to be postponed so that the defence could have sufficient time to adequately prepare for the appeal hearing - having only been notified of the date on July 17.

Following a pre-trial conference before Assistant Registrar Janice Wong at the High Court on Thursday, the hearing has been set from Oct 16 to 18. This means that Tey, 42, who is now in prison after being convicted of six counts of corruptly obtaining gifts and sex from former student Darinne Ko, may be released by then. Before starting his jail term in June, he had predicted he would be out by "early October" after remission.

In court documents, Mr Low indicated that if Tey's appeal succeeds, and if he fully completes his sentence by then, Tey "fully understands" that his appeal against his sentence would be futile. But his "good name would be cleared and his reputation vindicated'.

After Tey's conviction in May, the former National University of Singapore (NUS) don continued to maintain his innocence. Before going to jail, he said he was "extremely disappointed" by the judgment.

The Straits Times understands that one of the arguments raised in the Malaysian's appeal against his conviction involves his six statements to anti-graft officers, which he said were made under duress and should not be admitted as evidence. But Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye ruled otherwise.

Another argument Tey's lawyers are raising is how the judge saw his relationship with Ms Ko. The judge ruled that Tey "chose to be corrupt" and exploited her vulnerability.

However, Tey had insisted in his defence that he was in a "mutually loving romantic relationship" with Ms Ko, and that the gifts and sex were part of that.