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Former BSI banker likely to face new charges
SINGAPORE prosecutors are likely to press new charges against former BSI banker Yeo Jiawei, who has already been charged with seven offences ranging from money laundering, forgery and cheating to obstruction of justice, as a result of an ongoing massive probe by authorities here into 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the court here heard on Thursday.
Second Solicitor-General Kwek Mean Luck told the state court that investigators are scrutinising other aspects of the transactions involving criminal offences related to the seventh charge where Yeo has been accused of forging documents to facilitate a transfer of US$11.95 million in 2013 from SRC International (Malaysia) Ltd to a firm beneficially owned by Tan Kim Loong, a close associate of Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.
"A further period of remand is necessary as it would allow for ongoing investigation into the new lines of critical enquires that have opened up since the tendering of the seventh charge," said Mr Kwek at the sixth mention of Yeo's case where he said the prosecution is not expected to seek further remand beyond two weeks from now and is instead likely to apply for Yeo to be denied bail.
As in previous mentions, Yeo appeared in court via video link. Mr Kwek reiterated Yeo's key role in the last three years in relation to illicit transactions and money flows in and out of Singapore, pointing out that the investigations (into the 1MDB money trail) were vastly different from other serious crimes such as drug trafficking or murder which often involved a singular transaction or act. This investigation involved multiple, complex, cross-border financial transactions, multiple entities and extensive documentation, he said.
"Indeed, we have just ascertained that the accused has told yet another individual with knowledge of some of these questionable transactions to delete all relevant emails and to make himself unavailable for questioning by the CAD," said Mr Kwek, adding that Yeo may have likely told others as well to "suppress and tailor" information.
"A few new witnesses were interviewed since last week and some witnesses have been recalled for interviews," said Mr Kwek.
Yeo's lawyer Philip Fong of Harry Elias Partnership submitted that there is no further evidence that can be obtained from the accused as he claimed that the prosecution "already has all the evidence they need".
"There is nothing else the accused can say which has not been said already. The accused should be released on bail and be allowed to start preparing his defence in advance of his trial," Mr Fong added.
District Court Judge Christopher Goh ordered Yeo to be remanded till May 24 but said he was unable to say if the court would grant any further remand request and asked the prosecution to prepare its submission to deny Yeo bail at the next mention.
Pointing out that Yeo, 33, has been remanded for one month and four days and that this was the sixth remand application by prosecutors, the judge said the onus on the prosecution to apply to further remand Yeo would be more onerous to ensure a balance is struck between the interest of the state and the accused.
The prosecution also said it no longer objects to providing Yeo supervised access to his wife as investigations on her have "progressed".