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Singapore court grants stay of bail order on ex-BSI banker charged in 1MDB probe
IT was a short-lived relief at Singapore's state court on Thursday for former BSI banker Yeo Jiawei, who faces nine charges amid an ongoing probe by Singapore regulators into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Within minutes of District Court Judge Christopher Goh granting Yeo bail of S$600,000 with one surety or S$300,000 each with two sureties, he granted prosecution's request for a stay of the bail order pending an application at the High Court to challenge the decision.
Mr Goh had earlier granted Yeo bail as he said he was not convinced that the charges were so severe for bail to be denied.
Noting that a balance needed to be struck between the interest of the accused, in this case Yeo and public, Mr Goh said that given that he has already been remanded for 41 days, the balance was marginally in favour of the accused.
Soon after he made the decision to grant bail, Second Solicitor-General Kwek Mean Luck said prosecutors would apply for a criminal revision challenging the state court's decision to grant Yeo bail.
Yeo was arrested on April 16 and faces nine charges ranging from money laundering, forgery, cheating to obstruction of justice, only two of which are non-bailable offences.
Yeo's lawyer Harry Elias, founder of Harry Elias Partnership and Senior Counsel, said this "treatment" of keeping his client in continued remand "must stop".
In his submission earlier to deny Yeo bail, Mr Kwek said that there was evidence that reinforces the fact that Yeo, 33, was actively intervening with witnesses in the ongoing probe. Prosecutors again made no mention of 1MDB but it is a widely accepted fact that the probe deemed the most complex ever undertaken by Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department involves the troubled Malaysian state-backed firm.
"It was not just one instance. The accused contacted no less than five different witnesses, on five separate occasions," he asserted, adding that it was "likely" that the accused would interfere with witnesses on his release from custody.