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Penny crash case: Court rejects Soh's bid to obtain prosecution's documents
THE man accused of masterminding the 2013 penny stock crash has failed to obtain documents from prosecutors that he said could support his bail application after a High Court judge rejected his application on Tuesday.
Justice See Kee Oon agreed with the prosecution that the request for documents by John Soh Chee Wen was overly broad and amounted to a "fishing expedition".
Addressing an argument made by Soh's lawyer, senior counsel Tan Chee Meng of Wong Partnership, the judge said that it was incorrect to try to expand the scope of prosecution's obligations to produce evidence for bail applications. The burden of proof rightly lies with the accused during bail applications since the burden of proof lies with the prosecution during trial, Justice See said. The prosecution should not be placed in a position of effectively aiding defendants to discharge that burden, and disclosure obligations that apply to trial should not be extended to pre-trial matters outside of the existing legal framework, the judge said.
Soh faces 188 charges related to the events surrounding the October 2013 crash in the stock prices of Asiasons Capital (now known as Attilan Group), Blumont Group and LionGold Corp, which triggered massive selloffs in a number of penny stocks. Former Ipco International chief executive Quah Su-Ling and former Ipco interim chief executive Goh Hin Calm have also been charged in the case. Quah and Goh are out on bail.
He had made the request for documents concurrent with a bail application before the High Court. Soh's earlier application for bail was rejected by the lower court in February.
A hearing date for the latest bail application not been set.