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2 April 2010

Singapore high court overturns acquittal of opposition members

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The Singapore High Court has allowed a government’s appeal and convicted five opposition figures for taking part in a street procession without permit, the Channel News Asia reported.

Among them are three leaders of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) — Chairman Gandhi Ambalam, assistant secretary—general John Tan and central executive committee member Chee Siok Chin.

The other two are SDP supporters Yap Keng Ho and Chong Kai Xiong.

They were acquitted last October after District Judge John Ng found that their walk from Hong Lim Park to Queenstown Remand Prison in 2007 did not amount to a procession.

But on Thursday, High Court Judge Choo Han Teck said the five knew that a permit was required, despite their assertion that they were merely walking.

The procession was held to mark the anniversary of the World Bank—International Monetary Fund meetings protest in 2006. The group previously had an application for a police permit turned down in 2006.

The five will be sentenced at a later date, after mitigation submissions have been heard by Judge Ng. They could be fined up to S$1,000 each.


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