Mother of ex-national table tennis player Li Hu on trial for offering a bribe

Mother of ex-national table tennis player Li Hu on trial for offering a bribe

SINGAPORE: The mother of former national table tennis player Li Hu is on trial for offering a bribe to STTA technical director Loy Soo Han so he would be “lenient” in dealing with Li, who faced a disciplinary committee in October last year.  

Su Fengxian, 55, allegedly offered €2,000 (S$3,196) to Mr Loy on Oct 17, 2016, three days after Li told his mother he faced disciplinary action for allowing his girlfriend to spend the night at his dormitory on several occasions, violating house rules. Li was sacked a week later

At the opening of her trial on Monday (Oct 2), Su alleged that CPIB investigator Tay Beng Kwan, who recorded a statement from her on Oct 19, had told her that what she had done was “no big deal”, and that if she signed the incriminating statement, he would help her “settle” the matter and “help (her) speak to the judge”. 

Defence lawyer Alfred Dodwell urged District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt not to admit this statement into evidence if there was an “inkling that this inducement was playing on (Su’s) mind”. 

Judge Chay admitted the statement, saying that despite these allegations, Su had admitted she had told Mr Tay the truth. 

Later, Mr Dodwell accused Mr Tay of “putting words into (Su’s) mouth” and “engineer(ing) this statement,” pointing out it was the investigator who had used the words “offer” and “bribe” to describe Su’s actions. Su had only said she “tried to take out” the envelope containing the cash from her handbag, but that Mr Loy told her to put it away. 

In another statement about a month later, Su told CPIB investigator Cheot Zhi Chen: “In China, what I have done by offering the money to Mr Loy is part of our culture. I hope the judge and the prosecutor can understand my concerns as a mother and show leniency.” 

Su’s trial continues on Tuesday. Mr Loy is expected to testify, followed by Ms Wong Hui Ling, STTA’s CEO. 

Li, who remains in Singapore and works as a coach, is expected to testify against his mother later in the trial.