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Author Topic: Lawyer Edmund Wong Sin Yee [Disgraceful + Disgusting + Indecent]  (Read 2849 times)

Offline greentara

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Molester's lawyer 'acted indecently' during trial
5 Aug 2016 | Amir Hussain

Judge slams the scandalous way in which he questioned the victim and ogled her in court.

A district judge had harsh words for a lawyer who focused on the breast size of a victim of molestation, even asking her to stand up while she was on the witness stand and staring inappropriately at her.

District Judge Shawn Ho said Mr Edmund Wong Sin Yee's conduct was completely unacceptable, deserving of disapprobation and fell short of expectations of lawyers.

Mr Wong, who is in his late 50s and runs his own firm S. Y. Wong Law Chambers, had defended Xu Jiadong, a 24-year-old student from China. Xu was found guilty of brushing his forearm against the breast of a 22-year-old woman in a train at Toa Payoh MRT station on July 9 two years ago.

He was jailed for five months.

ATTRACTIVENESS IS IMPORTANT
"Well, it's always that there must be a temptation, there must be something attractive for a person to do such a thing. So if you get an old lady, you think people want to molest her?
"So that is important and I want to show that if she is wearing a very low cut (top) with a very voluptuous breast protruding out, (of a ) half cut (top), then of course... the higher the tendency that people might commit such an offence.
LAWYER EDMUND WONG SIN YEE

NEEDLESSLY OFFENSIVE
"... Mr Wong's cross-examination appears to me to be intended to insult or annoy the victim... Even if I am incorrect, and his cross-examination is proper in itself, focusing on the victim's "breast size" and whether she has a "very voluptuous breast protruding out" is in my mind needlessly offensive.
DISTRICT JUDGE SHAWN HO

"Sacrosanct is our right to travel on public transport unmolested," said the judge in his 44-page decision grounds released yesterday.

Six of the pages were on Mr Wong's conduct, with the judge highlighting the manner in which the lawyer had cross-examined the victim - calling it indecent, scandalous and forbidden in court under the Evidence Act.

During the trial, Mr Wong had asked the victim to stand up. When the judge asked what he was trying to show, he said: "Your Honour, I want to see... how attractive (she is) when (she) stands up..."

This prompted the victim to ask if it was necessary, and that she found it offensive.

Shortly after, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kong Kuek Foo interrupted Mr Wong to ask whether it was his case that only attractive women would get molested in the train.

Mr Wong, a marketing manager of a multinational company before becoming a lawyer in 1998, replied: "If you get an old lady, you think people want to molest her?

"... I want to show that if she is wearing a very low-cut (top) with a very voluptuous breast protruding out... then of course... the higher the tendency that people might commit such an offence.

"So I'm trying to put my case that, you know, looking at the day (how) she was dressed and... her breast size and all these things ... whether there is temptation for anybody or the accused to do such a thing."

Judge Ho gave reasons why Mr Wong's conduct was lamentable.

"First, the manner that the defence counsel stared inappropriately at the victim's breasts... was a grim reminder writ large of what (Xu) had subjected the victim to on the MRT train.

"It made the victim relive her odious experience. Distress was evoked, with the victim trying to hold back her tears in court.

"The proceedings were immediately stopped... But the damage had been done... During the afternoon session, the victim was visibly affected."

Judge Ho said Mr Wong had also ignored the victim's distress with his questioning, and added that the humiliation of victims of sexual crimes in court could discourage future victims from coming forward.

"Finally, members of the Bar need to observe high standards of professional conduct and a proper sense of responsibility in the conduct of cases; if this is not done, the whole profession will suffer in the public's estimation.

"Put simply, the defence counsel's conduct is completely unacceptable and deserves disapprobation. "

Mr Wong has a history of offences.

In August 1992, he punched a nurse at the Singapore National Eye Centre and insulted the modesty of a woman working at the clinic.

A few months after being called to the Bar, he hit a motorist in the mouth with his mobile phone, for which he eventually got a year in jail.

In July 2003, he was suspended from practice for two years over the road rage conviction.

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/molesters-lawyer-acted-indecently-during-trial

Offline greentara

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Re: Lawyer Edmund Wong Sin Yee [Disgraceful + Disgusting + Indecent]
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2016, 02:03:47 PM »
Judge raps lawyer for 'indecent and scandalous' courtroom antics
Aug 5, 2016 6:00am | By LINETTE HENG

His line of questioning offended the woman whom his client was accused of molesting.

I argue that Mr Edmund Wong Sin Yee's deplorable defence strategy would have offended all womankind and, I suspect, most men as well.

It is one thing for men with caveman attitudes to say that women who dress sexily are asking for it.

It is quite another for a learned person like a lawyer to stand in court and argue that a woman's breast size and choice of clothing could determine whether she becomes the victim of a sex crime.

Sadly, Mr Wong is not alone in resorting to putting the victim on trial in cases involving sex crimes, especially in countries with the jury system which have juries that can sometimes be swayed by such arguments.

So it is heartening to see District Judge Shawn Ho state unequivocally that such antics have no place in his courtroom.

Or, for that matter, in any Singapore courtroom because what Mr Wong put the victim through in court is an insult to women.

His client, a student from China named Xu Jiadong, 24, had been accused of molesting a woman on a train.

The Straits Times Online reported yesterday that he had brushed his forearm against the breast of a 22-year-old woman on board a train at Toa Payoh MRT station on July 9, 2014.

Xu pleaded not guilty, and Mr Wong built his case around the argument that only attractive women would get molested on the train.

At one point during the trial, Mr Wong, who is in his late 50s and runs his own firm S Y Wong Law Chambers, asked the victim to stand up on the witness stand before staring at her breasts.

When Judge Ho asked what his intentions were, Mr Wong said: "Your Honour, I want to see... how attractive (she is) when (she) stands up..."

This prompted the victim to ask: "Is this necessary?" before adding: "I feel very offended."

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kong Kuek Foo later interrupted Mr Wong to ask whether it was his case that only attractive women would get molested in the train, ST Online reported.

ARGUMENT

Mr Wong replied: "Well, it's always that there must be a temptation. There must be something attractive for a person to do such a thing. So if you get an old lady, you think people want to molest her?

"So that is important and I want to show that if she is wearing a very low cut (top) with a very voluptuous breast protruding out, (of a) half cut (top), then of course... the higher the tendency that people might commit such an offence.

"So I'm trying to put my case that, you know, looking at the day (how) she was dressed and... her breast size and all these things... whether there is temptation for anybody or the accused to do such a thing."

The disgraced lawyer has his own track record of disrespecting women.

In 1992, he punched a nurse at the Singapore National Eye Centre and insulted the modesty of a woman employee at the clinic. (See report, right.)

In 2001, he was given a three-month jail term for road rage and fined $2,000 for using insulting words on the motorist's wife.

Judge Ho found Xu guilty of his single charge of outrage of modesty yesterday, and jailed him for five months.

In his 44-page grounds of decision, six pages were devoted to Mr Wong's conduct in court.

His "indecent and scandalous" cross-examination of the victim is forbidden in court under the Evidence Act. Those questions are also banned under the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules, noted Judge Ho.

He said: "...members of the Bar need to observe high standards of professional conduct and a proper sense of responsibility in the conduct of cases; if this is not done, the whole profession will suffer in the public's estimation...

"His conduct is plainly not in keeping with - and fell far short of - the best traditions of the Singapore Bar."

Explaining why Mr Wong's conduct was lamentable, Judge Ho said: "First, the manner that the defence counsel stared inappropriately at the victim's breasts... was a grim reminder writ large of what (Xu) had subjected the victim to on the MRT train.

"It made the victim re-live her odious experience. Distress was evoked, with the victim trying to hold back her tears in court.

"The proceedings were immediately stopped... But the damage had been done. Her heart was wrung. During the afternoon session, the victim was visibly affected."

Law Society President Thio Shen Yi told The New Paper last night: "Based on what was set out in the judgment, this is unacceptable. We are looking into it."

But Mr Wong's repulsive actions could be far-reaching.

As Judge Ho pointed out, Mr Wong's "improper humiliation" of the victim could discourage future victims of sexual crimes from standing up against their abusers.

When Mr Wong asked her to stand up in court so he could assesss her "attractiveness", she bravely voiced her disapproval.

I wonder if other victims of sex crimes would be as courageous when facing a lawyer's questions in court.

As for Mr Wong, one can only hope he crawls back into the cave from which he emerged.

Share your views with Linette at [email protected]

What was said in court

District Judge Shawn Ho included an extract of the court proceedings, which took place when Mr Edmund Wong was looking at the victim's breasts, in his grounds of decision:

Mr Wong: Witness, I'm sorry to trouble you again. Can you stand up a bit? Stand up. Okay, thank you. Sit down.

Judge Ho: What was that for?

Mr Wong: Sorry.

Judge Ho: What was that for?

Mr Wong: Your Honour, I want to see... how attractive when (she) stands up, you know...

Victim: Is this necessary? I feel very offended.

Mr Wong: Well, I mean, I think it's important because I'm going to ask you even more insulting questions later on.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kong Kuek Foo: Your Honour, we'll take objection to any insulting questions at the outset.

Mr Wong: Provided it's insulting and scandalous (and not relevant), then you can object under the law...

DPP Kong: Your Honour, the courtroom is not a place for insulting questions. I don't need to learn the law to know that, my learned friend.

Mr Wong: Provided, Your Honour, the question is really insulting and does not go into the relevance of the case itself, then of course Your Honour can object. I'm going to ask a question; that is why I want the (victim) to stand up and to show... how attractive and how, I mean, because she said that she wore a full-top T-shirt, blue T-shirt... I want to see what's the size of...

DPP Kong: Your Honour, if I may just interject at this juncture? Is it the defence's case that only attractive women will get molested in the train?

Mr Wong: Well, it's always that there must be a temptation, there must be something attractive for a person to do such a thing. So if you get an old lady, you think people want to molest her?

So that is important and I want to show that if she is wearing a very low-cut (top) with a very voluptuous breast protruding out, (of a) half-cut (top), then of course... the higher the tendency that people might commit such an offence.

So I'm trying to put my case that, you know, looking at the day (how) she was dressed and... her breast size and all these things... whether there is temptation for anybody or the accused to do such a thing.

Judge Ho: Stop there, Mr Wong.

Mr Wong: Yes.

Judge Ho: Stop there.

Mr Wong: So...

Judge Ho: Stop there.

Mr Wong: Okay, I'll ask other things.

Judge Ho: Ms (...) I'm sorry I have to ask you to wait outside (the court). In fact, I would ask you to go for your lunch.

Victim: Okay. (Steps out of court.)


- The Straits Times.

Lawyer has chequered past

Mr Edmund Wong Sin Yee is no stranger to controversy.

He has previous convictions for disobeying a public servant's order, insulting the modesty of a woman, causing hurt and careless driving.

Before he became a lawyer, Mr Wong was a marketing manager in a multinational company.

In August 1992, he punched a nurse at the Singapore National Eye Centre and insulted the modesty of a female employee at the clinic.

A few months after being called to the Bar in 1998, he hit a motorist on the mouth with his mobile phone.

He was given a three-month jail term in 2001 for road rage and fined $2,000 for using insulting words on the motorist's wife.

Mr Wong appealed, but the prosecutors also appealed against the "woefully lenient" sentence, saying he behaved like a "total gangster" and that his behaviour was "contemptuous".

They also said Mr Wong gave a "sham defence" by alleging a police officer had lied in court. He even tried to disqualify the judge hearing the case by alleging bias.

His sentence was increased to the maximum one year by then Chief Justice Yong Pung How, who also imposed a $1,000 fine.

In July 2003, the Court of Three Judges suspended Mr Wong from practice for two years over the road rage conviction.

'EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES'

Mr Wong later told reporters: "I let the past be the past. Everybody makes mistakes, maybe I made a bit more. The whole episode has made me a better person. I learnt to be more restrained. I've got nobody to blame but myself for all this."

However, in September 2005, Mr Wong was arrested by anti-narcotics officers on suspicion of heading a multimillion-dollar ketamine trafficking syndicate overseas.

Between early 2004 and April 2005, he had allegedly used his former clients as runners to smuggle ketamine from Malaysia to Taiwan, and from Malaysia to China through Hong Kong.

He was held under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, a last-resort law used, among other instances, on those whom no one would dare testify against in court.

Mr Wong's urine also contained the tranquilliser nimetazepam, known as Erimin 5. He said he got the controlled drug from a friend as he had trouble sleeping.

He was given a four-month jail term for drug use. The sentence ran concurrently with his detention.

Under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, which must be renewed every five years, persons can be detained indefinitely without trial, when the Home Affairs Minister is satisfied that it is "in the interests of public safety, peace and good order".

Source: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore-news/when-defence-lawyers-turn-offensive

Offline greentara

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Re: Lawyer Edmund Wong Sin Yee [Disgraceful + Disgusting + Indecent]
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2016, 02:04:28 PM »
Disgraced lawyer loses appeal against detention
Selina Lum | Thu, Feb 21, 2008
The Straits Times
   
A DISGRACED lawyer, detained indefinitely without trial under a ministerial order, on Thursday lost his final bid to be freed.

Since September 2005, Edmund Wong Sin Yee, 49, has been held under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, which allows for those suspected of criminal activities to be detained without trial.

To order such detention, the Home Affairs Minister has to be satisfied that it is necessary 'in the interests of public safety, peace and good order'.

Wong was accused of being a leader in a drug syndicate that smuggled ketamine from Malaysia to Taiwan and from Malaysia to China through Hong Kong between early 2004 and April 2005.

The order to detain him has been extended twice, for 12-month periods each time.

Wong went to the High Court to challenge the detention but this was rejected by Justice Tan Lee Meng last September.

On Wednesday, he appealed to the Court of Appeal, which gave its decision on Thursday to uphold the lower court's judgment.

Wong's instructed counsel, Senior Counsel Jimmy Yim, had asked for his release on grounds that the detention order was unlawful.

Mr Yim argued that Wong's alleged activities were done outside Singapore but the Act applied only to crimes committed within the country.

He contended that Wong's Constitutional rights had been violated because he had not been told the grounds of his detention until 15 days later.

Mr Yim also argued that the detention was unreasonable because witnesses are available to testify against Wong in a proper trial.

'My client is happy to stand trial. He's happy to face charges and if convicted by a court of law... he's happy to serve his sentence,' Mr Yim said on Wednesday.

But the Court of Appeal rejected the arguments on Thursday.

Justice Andrew Phang, delivering the court's decision, agreed with Justice Tan's interpretation of the Act: that the threat to public safety, peace and good order did not necessarily have to result from criminal activities in Singapore.

The court also agreed that the detention order was valid even assuming Wong was not told of the grounds.

Finally, the court found no basis that the minister had exercised his discretion irrationally.

Wong, who is divorced with two children, is allowed to see immediate family members twice a month.

The next review of his detention order is expected to be in July next year.

Source: http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Crime/Story/A1Story20080221-50787.html

Offline greentara

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Re: Lawyer Edmund Wong Sin Yee [Disgraceful + Disgusting + Indecent]
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2016, 02:05:36 PM »
Man jailed after cellphone attack
2001-05-16 10:54

Singapore - A lawyer who struck a motorist with his mobile phone was sentenced to one year's jail after the prosecution said he behaved like a "gangster", it was reported on Wednesday.

Edmund Wong Sin Yee's term was increased from three months after the prosecution appealed the "woefully lenient" initial sentence in the High Court, The Straits Times said. He was also fined 1 000 Singapore dollars ($555).

The court heard that Wong squeezed into the lane of another motorist who then sounded his horn. In the ensuing confrontation, Wong struck the man in the mouth with a mobile phone and, although his car was not damaged, demanded compensation. - Sapa-DPA

Source 1: http://www.news24.com/xArchive/Archive/Man-jailed-after-cellphone-attack-20010516
Source 2: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/today20010516-1.2.13.1.aspx


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Re: Lawyer Edmund Wong Sin Yee [Disgraceful + Disgusting + Indecent]
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2016, 09:22:56 PM »
Complaint lodged against lawyer for ‘indecent’, ‘scandalous’ line of questioning
Kenneth Cheng | August 8, 2016

SINGAPORE — The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has lodged a disciplinary complaint with the Law Society of Singapore against a lawyer whose line of questioning was described by a district judge as “indecent” and “scandalous”.

In a press statement on Monday (Aug 8), the AGC said the complaint against Mr Edmund Wong of SY Wong Law Chambers, had stemmed from his line of questioning in a case of outrage of modesty brought against his client, Mr Xu Jiadong.

In the courtroom, Mr Wong had, among other things, sought to argue that women sporting low-cut tops with their breasts protruding made them more likely targets of molest.

After asking the victim to stand to assess her “attractiveness”, the victim had protested against the offensiveness of his conduct, to which Mr Wong replied that he had planned to ask an “even more insulting question later on”.

He suggested to the court that he would have to know the victim’s “breast size” and whether she had been wearing attire that was of a “very low cut with a (sic) very voluptuous breast protruding” on the day of the incident.

The deputy public prosecutor had objected to Mr Wong’s line of questioning, and District Judge Shawn Ho had put an end to it.

The judge, in his written grounds of decision, had called Mr Wong’s line of questioning “indecent”, “scandalous”, “intended to insult or annoy the victim”, and “lamentable”.

The AGC, in filing its complaint, said Mr Wong’s conduct fell “far short of the standards of professional conduct to be expected from an advocate and solicitor, and represents a flagrant abuse of the function of the advocate and solicitor”.

More broadly, the implications of such lines of questioning “bear broader repercussions on public confidence in the criminal legal process”, it said. It pointed out that District Judge Ho had noted that “the improper humiliation of victims of sexual offences during cross-examination could discourage future victims from coming forward”.

This is the second time in the past year that the AGC has referred Mr Wong to the Law Society of Singapore for possible disciplinary action.

Last November, it filed a complaint about remarks made by Mr Wong, which included the use of expletives, in a separate criminal trial. The society decided to impose a penalty on Mr Wong for the earlier complaint, the AGC said.

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/complaint-lodged-against-lawyer-indecent-scandalous-line-questioning

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Re: Lawyer Edmund Wong Sin Yee [Disgraceful + Disgusting + Indecent]
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2018, 02:00:44 PM »
Lawyer suspended for 5 years for 'disgraceful' behaviour in molest trial  
By Louisa Tang | 02 May, 2018

SINGAPORE — Lawyer Edmund Wong Sin Yee, who had been widely criticised for his "scandalous" cross-examination of a female molest victim in 2016, has been suspended from practising law for five years — the maximum punishment for lawyers hauled before a disciplinary hearing.

Mr Chandra Mohan, who was representing the Law Society of Singapore, had sought a suspension of 12 to 18 months for Mr Wong based solely on his behaviour during the 2016 trial.

But a coram of three Court of Appeal judges who presided over the hearing on Wednesday (May 2) — Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, and Judges of Appeal Judith Prakash and Steven Chong — decided to impose the maximum penalty on the lawyer.

The judges also had harsh words for Mr Wong, and deemed his behaviour during the trial "cruel and humiliating". His suspension will commence in two weeks.

Mr Wong, who is in his late 50s and runs S Y Wong Law Chambers, was not present in court on Wednesday. He was represented by Mr Suang Wijaya and Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, who declined to say why their client was absent from the disciplinary hearing.

Mr Wong was hauled up for grossly improper conduct during the 2016 trial that involved a case of outrage of modesty.

He had sought to argue that women sporting low-cut tops made them more likely targets of molestation, and also asked the victim in that particular case to stand up and sit down in order to assess her attractiveness, while scrutinising her chest.

A district judge and Law Minister K Shanmugam rapped Mr Wong for his "scandalous" cross-examination of the victim.

Mr Shanmugam also cited the incident when he called for changes to the Criminal Procedure Code, which among other things, bar lawyers from dredging up or posing questions about the victims' sexual history and appearance. The changes were passed earlier this year.

Defending his client, Mr Thuraisingam said Mr Wong’s focus on the victim’s attractiveness was to establish her as a “plain Jane”, such that the accused would not have noticed her.

“Are we in the business of beauty contests?” retorted Chief Justice Menon.

Judge of Appeal Prakash added: “The appropriate way to do it is for the accused to testify… instead of (Mr Wong) asking if she’s pretty, and apparently staring at her.”

Chief Justice Menon further rebuked Mr Wong when delivering his oral judgement on Wednesday, saying that he could not "find any plausible basis that his cross-examination of the victim can be justified". His line of questioning, which focused on how pretty the victim was, was “irrelevant and wholly impermissible”.

"The reasonable conclusion is that (Mr Wong) embarked on a line of cross-examination to humiliate the victim and subject her to treatment that was wholly demeaning… it was disgraceful and an abuse of privilege given to officers to the court," Chief Justice Menon added.

He further noted that Mr Wong has "consistently maintained that he has not done anything wrong". It would be extremely difficult to reform someone who does not even admit to his wrongdoing, he added.

The Chief Justice also pointed to Mr Wong's long list of previous convictions dating back more than 20 years, such as for insulting the modesty of a woman and careless driving. The lawyer was also arrested in 2005 on suspicions of heading a multi-million-dollar ketamine trafficking syndicate overseas, and jailed for four months for drug use.

The Court of Appeal will release the written grounds of decision on the case at a later date.

Source: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/lawyer-suspended-5-years-disgraceful-behaviour-molest-trial