Lim Tean arrested for alleged criminal breach of trust, under investigation for alleged stalking: Police
SINGAPORE: Lawyer and opposition politician Lim Tean was arrested on Friday (Oct 2) for alleged criminal breach of trust and is also being investigated for alleged unlawful stalking, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
The arrest came after Mr Lim failed to comply with a police notice to attend a compulsory interview on Monday to assist with investigations into the two alleged offences, the police said.
"As Mr Lim Tean did not cooperate with the notice to attend an interview with police, and had stated clearly that he had no intent to comply, the police had no choice but to arrest Mr Lim Tean in order to conduct the investigations," said SPF in a news release.
"This would not have been necessary, if he complied with the police notice to come for an interview," it added.
The police said that the counsel of Mr Lim's former client had lodged a police report alleging that Mr Lim had misappropriated a sum of money awarded to him as damages by the court. Mr Lim had acted for the former client in a motor injury suit, said the police.
Separately, a former employee of Mr Lim has also lodged a police report against him, alleging that she was harassed by him while working at his law firm, said the police.
The employee has referred the police to text messages that were exchanged between her and Mr Lim, they added.
The police contacted Mr Lim and issued him with a written notice under the Criminal Procedure Code on Sep 23 to attend a compulsory interview on Sep 28 at the Police Cantonment complex to assist with investigations into the alleged offences.
Mr Lim was also told that he could reschedule the interview if he wanted, said the police.
"However, Mr Lim Tean replied through his counsel on Sep 27 that he had no intention of turning up for any police interview. He also made baseless allegations that the investigations against him were politically motivated," said the police.
"The police have a responsibility to investigate reports which are made, if prima facie they disclose a basis for further investigations. Persons called for police interviews must comply.
"Mr Lim Tean’s alleged victims had filed police reports alleging serious offences by him against them, and the police have a duty to investigate the allegations," they said.
Lawyer M Ravi of Carson Law Chambers said in a Facebook post on Friday that Mr Lim has instructed him to act as defence counsel.
According to Mr Ravi, Mr Lim was preparing for a defamation trial next week when he was arrested. He is representing writer Leong Sze Hian who is being sued by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for libel.
The trial is set to open on Tuesday.
Mr Leong told CNA that he did not know of any allegations against Mr Lim before the arrest, which happened at Mr Lim's office, and was "surprised" by what happened.
LETTER FROM LIM TEAN'S COUNSEL
The police said in response to media queries on Friday they had "no choice" but to arrest Mr Lim in order to "carry on with the investigations", after Mr Lim replied through his counsel that he would not attend any interview.
The police also released the letter from Mr Lim's counsel, which was addressed to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) from Mr Ravi.
The letter said that Mr Lim takes "grave offence" at CAD's decision to investigate "wholly frivolous and vexatious allegations" and intends to commence a judicial review proceeding.
"You have deliberately and purportedly called him down for investigation at a time when you know that he will be busily engaged in a very important trial involving the Prime Minister," the letter said.
"Our client instructs also that he has no intention of turning up for any interview as we are verily instructed that you are investigating trumped up charges against him which are politically motivated."
The letter alleged that the matter of unlawful stalking, which is under the Protection From Harassment Act, falls outside the remit of CAD.
It also said that Mr Lim intends to commence judicial review proceedings, alleging "illegitimate collusion" with the "arbitrary ill will of the minister".