Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

The case of PoThePanda – Update

This morning was PoThePanda Gary Tan Yeong Hong’s scheduled trial.

I was ill and on medical leave. As the case was a pro bono matter, Gary bravely offered to do the trial himself. We then readied ourselves for a discharge application to be made at Court this morning.

I arrived in Court to find out that the DPP John Loo had instructions to apply for Gary to be remanded in the IMH for 3 weeks on the basis that he is delusional in his blog postings and that he had been allegedly remanded in IMH before in 2006.

The DPP and myself met the Judge in Chambers and the above was intimated to the Judge. I requested for the documentary proof so that i could take my client’s instructions.

Outside chambers i was shown a faxed letter of 2nd June 2009 [yes today] from Bedok Police Division to the IMH asking for tracing of Gary. The reply from IMH was a handwritten endorsement and fax back of the police letter stating that Gary was “traced, admitted in 2006”.

I verified with Gary that the police had on a previous occasion put him into IMH for an examination but he was cleared of any mental illness. He does not recall that to be in 2006 as he is unable to recall exactly when it occurred.

Together with this information the DPP and myself met the Judge in Chambers. We told the Judge the current position.

DJ Soh Tze Bian recorded in the file that the accused admitted to being admitted to IMH before. I clarified to the DJ that my client instructs that upon that examination he was cleared by IMH to be not suffering from any mental illness.

I asked that the trial be allowed to proceed as Gary was ready to take on the charges even if i was supposed to be discharged. DPP insisted that this was not possible as Gary’s fitness to plead was suspect. I clarified that I cannot proceed to discharge myself given the latest development and I asked for an adjournment to prepare for the DPP’s remand application under Section 308 CPC given the short notice of the application.

The District Judge stood the matter down to 230pm.

Gary and I arrived in Court at about 238pm. There had been a bad jam at Havelock Square. I found out from the DPP that there was no further documentary proof of his admission to IMH we then proceeded to meet the Judge in chambers.

Inside chambers, I informed the Court of Gary’s instructions for me to challenge the Remand application. I had prepared for the remand application throughout the time for lunch [Gary now owes me a big and expensive lunch]. The DPP was minded to proceed to ask for the remand order forthwith. As i had asked for the IMH’s report, the District Judge was minded to adjourn the hearing of the application until the IMH report was made available to both parties. According to the DPP, it was only after the remand application was dealt with and the would be remand allowed to run its course and with the consequent report from the Medical Superintendent would Gary’s fitness to plead for the case be clear. It was only then that the trial could be proceeded with proper.

The topic of discussion then went towards the possibility of the matter getting resolved in a less wasteful manner. Whether or not Gary could consider making representations to the AGC for the charges to be reduced so that he could plead guilty to an acceptable charge and the need to send him to IMH be dispensed with. The DPP at first instance seemed insistent that the remand application had to be made to ensure that Gary was assessed to be fit to plead. District Judge Soh Tze Bian was more decisive, to avoid the convoluted course the matter was now currently on track to take, his Honour stated that if Gary makes the representations and pleads guilty to the offences, there would be no need at all to do whatever remand at IMH. Furthermore the nature of the charge does not necessarily warrant a jail term and that further should not end up with a trial and what remand application.

The indication was that if Gary were to plead guilty he would most probably be let off with a fine. Unless Gary still insisted on a trial then he would need to have his fitness to plead assessed.

I took the opportunity to check with Gary and persuade him and I managed to get him to agree to make representations. This was then intimated to the Judge and the DPP.

The District Judge then gave the following directions: Defence Counsel to make representations to the AGC 2 weeks from today i.e. 17th June 2009. The AGC to reply by 26th June 2009 and to obtain the 2006 IMH report and submit to the Court and Defence Counsel as soon as it is available. PTC is fixed for 30th June 2009 at 230pm. Bail is extended.

The DPP then informed the court that the latest information from the IMH is that Gary had self-admitted himself into the IMH on 29th November 2006 and he was discharged on 1st December 2006. Gary failed to follow up on the treatment prescribed for him. Interestingly the DPP insisted that Gary was never arrested before by the Police. There was no record that the Police arrested him and took him to the IMH.

This case reminds me strongly of another case which i dealt with in the past. The manner in which sometimes such admissions into IMH are processed leaves much to be desired. From experience, there is indeed arbitrariness by the Police and the IMH in dealing with persons brought in for assessment at the IMH and the level of professionalism and transparency leaves much to be desired.

This makes me more keen to look into Gary’s admission into IMH and also my other client’s case.

Advertisements

June 3, 2009 - Posted by | Life, Politics

7 Comments »

  1. […] Read rest of article here […]

    Pingback by Chia Ti Lik’s account of PothePanda’s trial on 3 June 2009 : The Wayang Party (大戏党) | June 3, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] “DPP John Loo had instructions to apply for Gary to be remanded in the IMH for 3 weeks on the basis that he is delusional in his blog postings and that he had been allegedly remanded in IMH before in 2006.” (read article here) […]

    Pingback by Doc: only a qualified psychiatrist can make the clinical decision to admit a patient to IMH : The Wayang Party (大戏党) | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] The People vs PoThePanda – Chia Ti Lik’s Blog: The case of PoThePanda – Update […]

    Pingback by The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Daily SG: 4 June 2009 | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  4. […] The People vs PoThePanda – Chia Ti Lik’s Blog: The case of PoThePanda – Update […]

    Pingback by The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Daily SG: 4 June 2009 | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  5. what kind of charges is Pothepanda facing?

    Comment by cm8402009 | June 6, 2009 | Reply

  6. […] The People vs PoThePanda – Chia Ti Lik’s Blog: The case of PoThePanda – Update […]

    Pingback by The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Weekly Roundup: Week 23 | June 6, 2009 | Reply

  7. […] On 3rd June, DPP John Loo had instructions to apply for Gary to be remanded in the IMH for 3 weeks on the basis that he is delusional in his blog postings and that he had been allegedly remanded in IMH before in 2006. (read article here) […]

    Pingback by PothePanda declared “sane” by IMH : The Wayang Party (大戏党) | July 11, 2009 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: