Judge Gives Singapore Psychiatrist “one last chance”

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The Straits Times
Judge’s ultimatum to witness: Appear or risk arrest
By Walter Sim
May 10, 2013

Psychiatrist Tommy Tan

Psychiatrist Tommy Tan

SINGAPORE – A psychiatrist who was supposed to testify in the sex-for-grades corruption trial was on Tuesday given “one last chance” to appear, or risk being arrested and hauled to court.

Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye issued the ultimatum on Tuesday after Dr Tommy Tan missed several court dates despite having been subpoenaed.

As he adjourned proceedings until 2.30pm today, the judge said: “In the meantime, I am going to issue a warrant of arrest against him. Either he comes voluntarily to this court, or a warrant of arrest will be served on him to attend court.”

He added: “If he comes voluntarily, then the warrant may not be necessary.”

Attempts to contact Dr Tan were unsuccessful.

The defence witness first failed to show up last month while hospitalised for an eye operation. He was then told to be present on Tuesday morning, as the judge expressed his intent to wrap up the trial, which started in January. But he did not appear.

Defence counsel Peter Low told the court that “he refused to come down” because “he is treating patients”.

The judge then adjourned the case for the defence to make necessary arrangements for Dr Tan, a consultant psychiatrist at Novena Psychiatry Clinic, to testify on Tuesday afternoon.

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