SINGAPORE: Alleged match-fixer Eric Ding Si Yang chose not to testify in his own defence in his long-running corruption trial in Singapore.
This, according to local media reports, was despite District Judge Toh Yung Cheong’s finding last month that the prosecution had established enough evidence for the trial to proceed.
The 32-year-old former freelance football tipster with The New Paper (TNP) is accused of bribing three Lebanese match officials by offering them sex with prostitutes in return for fixing an undetermined future match.
Referee Ali Sabbagh, 34, and linesmen Abdallah Taleb, 38, and Ali Eid, 34, were in Singapore last April to officiate an Asian Football Confederation game.
They have since been deported after brief detention for accepting bribes. Ding’s lawyers, Hamidul Haq and Thong Chee Kun, have said they intend to call two witnesses in Lebanese lawyer Ayman Malek Fakih and TNP special projects editor Jegathesan Rajagopal.
Ayman had recorded statements from the linesmen after they went home, which supposedly contradicted what they told the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau when they were arrested.
The defence is arguing for the statements to be admitted to prove its client’s innocence, as the linesmen could not be cross-examined after After refusing to return to Singapore.
Ayman’s own attendance in court is also in doubt because his visa application had been rejected.
If convicted, Ding faces a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $100,000 fine.