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Ding's lawyers: Jail or fine, but not both

Ding's lawyers asked for a high fine with no jail term, or a jail term of not more than three months for the charge involving former Lebanese referee Ali Sabbagh, and not more than a month each for the charges involving the two former assistant referees Abdallah Taleb and Ali Eid.

Here are some reasons:

1 DING'S ACTIONS CAUSED NO HARM

No match was fixed. There was no actual loss or damage caused to members of the public who bet on football matches. The integrity of the "beautiful game" was also not compromised, Ding's lawyers argued.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Alan Loh, however, pointed out that Ding's actions had already tarnished Singapore's reputation.

He had also cost the three Lebanese former match officials their jobs.

Mr Sabbagh has been banned from refereeing for life while Mr Taleb and Mr Eid are banned for 10 years.

2 THE VALUE OF THE BRIBE WAS LOW

The gratification, in the form of sexual services, offered to each match official is valued at $500, a considerably low figure. There was no direct financial benefit to the Lebanese.

In rebuttal, DPP Loh said the value should not be the "sole determining factor of culpability".

There are far more important factors, like how Ding committed a syndicated crime and how the former match officials were not just in the S League but were Fifa- and Asian Football Confederation-accredited.

3 DING HAD A CLEAN RECORD

Other than an "otherwise unblemished record", Ding had "served our nation faithfully", including a voluntary six-month extended National Service stint.

He has been a filial son to his father, who is plagued with a myriad of illnesses like gout and chronic renal failure. Ding is also a supportive brother to his sister, who is battling depression.


It cannot be right, Your Honour, to make Mr Ding pay for the sins of every match fixer in Singapore.

- Ding's lawyer, Mr Thong Chee Kun