Iswaran corruption case: Who are the lawyers leading the prosecution and defence?


A decade before this, Mr Singh represented Singapore Press Holdings in a defamation suit filed by Mr TT Durai, former head of the National Kidney Foundation Singapore charity.

Mr Durai and NKF had sued SPH over an article that alleged a gold-plated tap was installed in Mr Durai’s office suite.

Mr Durai ended up withdrawing the lawsuit after two days of being grilled by Mr Singh on the witness stand. Mr Singh’s questioning revealed that Mr Durai collected S$1.8 million in salaries and bonuses over three years, which was a closely guarded secret until the trial.

These revelations led to Mr Durai and NKF’s board of directors resigning en masse shortly after the trial.

Most recently, Mr Singh represented Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) in what became known as the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) trial. It involved three key members of the Workers’ Party – MPs Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh, as well as Low Thia Kiang.

From 2016 to 2020, Mr Singh represented PRPTC in its claims to recover losses allegedly incurred when Punggol East constituency was under WP-managed Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council.

WHAT OTHER LAWYERS SAY

Lawyers whom CNA spoke to described both Mr Tan and Mr Singh in glowing terms.

Mr Alexander Woon, a former deputy public prosecutor who dealt with financial crimes, said Mr Tan “is very hard working and determined, and will fight for what he thinks is right no matter the odds against him”.

Mr Woon described his former superior as a “career legal service officer”, which meant he is probably not as well-known in legal circles as Mr Singh.

“I think he is generally thought of as a steady, dependable, and decent prosecutor,” said Mr Woon, who now practises at RHTLaw Asia and lectures at the Singapore University of Social Sciences.

“(He) is first and foremost a man of principle. I recall as a young officer, I made a mistake on a file. When I went to him to inform him, he told me, ‘Don’t worry, I was the clearing officer and I didn’t catch it, so it is my mistake too.’”

Veteran criminal lawyer Gino Hardial Singh said the top prosecutor keeps a “low profile” and is a “kind and fair man”. “No doubt that he is a good lawyer,” he added.

Meanwhile, the founder of Abbots Chambers said that “Davinder Singh needs no introduction”, adding: “He’s assertive and meticulous and in the same league as (Home Affairs and Law Minister) K Shanmugam.”

Mr Nichol Yeo, director at Nine Yards Chambers, noted that Mr Singh is recognised as the best cross-examiner in Singapore and his firm is the “go-to for our ministers”.

Calling the senior counsel “legendary”, Mr Yeo said Mr Singh has dedicated his life to the courtroom. “The amount of work and preparation his team puts into a case is astounding.”



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