Underage prostitute is now Miss XXX?

SINGAPORE - Five days ago, lawyer Subhas Anandan disputed the charges his clients were slapped with as he felt the charges were "flawed because they lacked essential particulars".

Mr Anandan represents 10 of the 44 men who were charged on Monday with engaging the services of an underage prostitute. He said: "They don't have the name of the girl, her date of birth. How do you expect my clients to plead guilty?"

Another lawyer, Mr Luke Lee, who represents two of the 44 men, agreed.

"The charges are defective because the name of the victim and her date of birth are missing. We're in the position of having the charges amended," said Mr Lee.

But their charge sheets are different.

On Wednesday, four more men were charged with having paid sex with the same girl.

Lawyer Wendell Wong, who represents Howard Shaw Chai Li, 41, one of yesterday's four accused, told The New Paper that the charge sheet he received includes the girl's name and date of birth.

But reporters in court yesterday were given a different set of charge sheets. In theirs, the girl is identified as "XXX who is under 18 years of age".

The Attorney-General's Chambers said yesterday evening that the charges against the 44 men will be amended to include the girl's name. It will also apply for a gag order to protect her identity.

TNP understands that more men are expected to be charged.

ashaffiq@sph.com.sg

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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