Singapore

Lawyer fined for outburst against police officers

A lawyer who was rapped by a district judge in 2016 for commenting on the breast size of a molestation victim has been slapped with a fine by a disciplinary tribunal over a different matter - his behaviour towards two police officers.

Mr Edmund Wong Sin Yee pleaded guilty to two charges of unprofessional conduct.

In the first instance, he told Staff Sergeant Lin Yuheng in a phone conversation in August 2015 that his client would be "happy to sell her body" to pay for legal fees so the lawyer can drag the case for a year.

In the other case, he accused Inspector Stanley Qiu of being "cocky" and shouted a four-letter word at him over the phone in May 2016. The officer was investigating one of Mr Wong's clients for suspected extortion.

The tribunal, appointed by the Chief Justice and comprising Senior Counsel Molly Lim and lawyer Carrie Seow, ruled that the language used by Mr Wong was "highly inappropriate, objectionable and totally unacceptable" in its report released last week.

The tribunal recommended that Mr Wong be fined $3,000 for each offence and pay $3,000 in costs. The recommendations will be considered by the Law Society's governing council.

The lawyer had previously been in trouble for his behaviour in court. In 2016, a disciplinary tribunal fined him $3,000 and ordered him to pay the Law Society $6,500 in costs.

Besides uttering an expletive in court, he had made a snide remark during a vice-related trial when he asked the prosecution witness if she had found the sexual act she performed on a customer "shiok", a colloquial term for enjoyable.

As for the breast size comment, a disciplinary tribunal last year referred his misconduct to the Court of Three Judges, which is due to hear the case in May. - K.C. VIJAYAN

COURT & CRIME