SINGAPORE—The defense lawyer in a human rights trial in Singapore filed a criminal motion in the High Court today, after a judge in a Subordinate Court refused to grant the defense time to locate the author of United Nations documents that were tendered in evidence.
On Tuesday the case against Ng Chye Hue and Erh Boon Tiong who had displayed a banner outside of the Chinese Embassy, took a new turn as defense attorney M. Ravi cross-examined a prosecution witness, the investigating officer Si Ooi.
When questioned why he thought the wording on the banner—7.20 Hunger Strike to protest the Chinese communist party's inhumane persecution of Falun Gong—was an insult to the Chinese Embassy, Si Ooi replied, "The wordings contain an alleged persecution of Falun Gong… this is an allegation we are unable to verify".
Under cross examination, Si Ooi conceded that if the persecution of Falun Gong were actually occurring then the wording on the banner could not be considered insulting.
M Ravi then tendered UN reports that verify the persecution of Falun Gong and contain incidences of torture, reports of the persecution of lawyers who defend Falun Gong practitioners, and reports of freedom of belief and expression being violated.
The report also cites the case of Yoko Kaneko, and details aspects of her beating and detention by police. M. Ravi said that these documents were accessible to the Investigating Officer and thus the Investigating Officer should have been able to verify the persecution of Falun Gong.
Yoko Kaneko is yet to be called as a witness in the case.
The Judge stated that it is up to the court to decide if the persecution of Falun Gong is occurring, not the witness. M. Ravi requested an adjournment to locate the author of the document so it could be verified and admitted as an exhibit. The Judge failed to grant an adjournment then ruled that the cross-examination of the witness SI Ooi should continue.
M. Ravi stated that his clients needed to be given the opportunity to present their case and since the U.N. report was part of his cross-examination, he would file a criminal motion with the High Court. Court was then adjourned until 9:30 am the following day.
On Wednesday, M. Ravi filed a criminal motion with the High Court and a hearing was set for 9:30 Thursday. Later at the subordinate court, Ravi asked for a stay of proceedings pending the high courts ruling.
The Judge ruled the matter would be stood down till 2:30 Thursday. The trial continues.