Penny stocks crash: Judge favours defence on clarity of 161 charges

Singapore High Court today made a ruling that favours the defence team in relation to the clarity of 161 charges faced by Malaysian businessman John Soh and Quah Su Ling. — Reuters pic
Singapore High Court today made a ruling that favours the defence team in relation to the clarity of 161 charges faced by Malaysian businessman John Soh and Quah Su Ling. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, May 16 — Singapore High Court today made a ruling that favours the defence team in relation to the clarity of 161 charges faced by Malaysian businessman John Soh and Quah Su Ling.

Last Friday, both defence counsels demanded for the prosecution to provide particulars for the 11th to 172th charges in a joint trial over the 2013 penny stock crash.

It was whether instructions were given by the accused to brokerage houses and Financial Institutions directly or indirectly, and whether some, most or all of the instructions resulted in trade.

On Tuesday, the prosecution said it had clarified that all the relevant securities fell within the charges, and furnished particulars of the charges.

In relation to instructions which were given indirectly from persons unauthorised in dealings with local brokerages, the prosecution took a stand that particulars were not required.

“I do not agree with the prosecution’s decision,” said Judge Hoo Sheau Peng in making the ruling.

Referring to a specific paragraph in the prosecutor’s opening statement, Hoo said, “It appears to be direct instructions and not through third parties. As framed it is not entirely clear the charges encompass the latter”.

Hoo said there were uncertainties which should be clarified by the defence for present purposes and more importantly if the charges involved all the instructions.

“I am of the view that for clarity of the case, the first set of particulars should be provided for the remaining charges.

“The prosecutor should clarify if the instructions were given directly or indirectly by third parties, and if there were third parties, the identity of the third party should be revealed,” she said.

Judge Hoo asserted that both parties needed to discuss further on the timelines.

Soh was represented by Narayanan Sreenivasan of K&L Gates Straits Law LLC while Quah by Philip Fong of Eversheds Harry Elias LLP.

Soh, and Quah pleaded not guilty to 189 and 178 charges respectively, in relation to the Asiasons, Blumont, and LionGold’s penny stocks crash six years ago. — Bernama

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