Bail for law professor in sex-for-grades case set at $100k

SINGAPORE - Bail for the professor involved in sex-for-grades case was set yesterday at $100,000.

When Tey Tsun Hang's lawyer Peter Low initially heard the bail amount in the morning mention, he argued in court that it was excessive.

Stating that bail should be set at $20,000 instead, Mr Loh said Tey was not a flight risk as he had been a law professor for some time and his child was here.

The prosecution objected, pointing out that Tey was a Malaysian without roots here. The judge set the case to be re-heard in the afternoon.

Tey faces six counts of corruptly obtaining gratification in 2010 from student Darinne Ko Wen Hu. He allegedly received sex on two occasions and gifts such a Montblanc pen worth $740, two tailor-made shirts worth $236.20, and an iPod worth $160.

The professor at the law faculty at the National University of Singapore (NUS) spoke to the media outside the courtroom after yesterday's morning mention.

Reading from a handwritten statement he said: "The charges and allegations against me are very serious. At stake is my liberty, integrity and livelihood."

"My reputation has been tarnished and my family suffers as a result.

"I am known to speak up, amongst other things, on the Singapore legal system. I write in good faith and

with no ill intent.

"In similar vein, I shall fearlessly defend myself against the charges, and vigorously. I have no illusion about the arduous journey ahead of me.

"I pray for a worthy trial - a trial that allows the truth to come to light, a trial that allows me to vindicate myself."

At the afternoon mention, Tey's lawyer said he would no longer argue about the bail amount and it was set at $100,000.

Tey, who is married with a teenage daughter, had earlier sent an email to friends and journalists saying he would be appearing in court.

He said he stands by his academic principles and that he has always pursued his academic writing in good faith, with no ill intent.

He also described the $100,000 bail as a phenomenal sum.

Tey had been practising in a top law firm for several years after having graduated from King's College London and St Hugh's College, Oxford. He was an assistant professor at NUS' law faculty before joining the legal service as a Justice's Law Clerk, said The Straits Times.

He was later appointed a district judge of the Subordinate Courts and became a state counsel with the Attorney-General's Chambers' legislation division before switching to a teaching career in the 1990s.

He was described by NUS law students as intelligent and they were often entertained by his jokes and ability to liven up classes.

dassa@sph.com.sg

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