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Singapore, Crime

Ian Poh
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Singapore, Crime

Brompton bikes trial: NParks assistant director convicted of lying to auditors

The Straits Times | Ian Poh | Thursday, May 29, 2014

Above: Bernard Lim Yong Soon

SINGAPORE - Lim had initially told National Development Ministry staff in July 2012 that he only met Bikehop director Lawrence Lim Chun How in March 2012. But the two had actually met months earlier at a night cycling event. Lim tipped the bike supplier off about the impending tender.


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This story below was published on April 4, 2014:

NParks officer ordered to give his defence

By Ian Poh, The Straits Times

The National Parks Board (NParks) assistant director on trial for lying to auditors has been ordered by a district court to give his defence.

The court ruled yesterday that the nine witnesses who testified so far had given enough evidence against Bernard Lim Yong Soon to continue with the trial, which began on March 11.

Bernard Lim, 42, oversaw a controversial $57,200 deal to buy 26 Brompton bicycles in 2012 from supplier Bikehop.

He is charged with lying to the National Development Ministry (MND) that he did not know Bikehop director Lawrence Lim Chun How before the firm put in the sole bid to supply the foldable bikes.

He is also alleged to have instigated Mr Lawrence Lim to perpetuate the lie.

Mr Lawrence Lim, who was the first to take the stand, had testified that he had met Bernard Lim at a cycling event in 2011, and that Bernard Lim tipped him off about the tender and revealed its budget, and later told him over the phone not to tell anybody about their relationship.

Three MND staff had told the court that Bernard Lim told them he first met Mr Lawrence Lim in March 2012. An anti-graft officer, meanwhile, testified last week that Bernard Lim told him that he had lied out of fear of being disciplined.

Yesterday, defence lawyer Lawrence Ang said his client will take the stand to give his side of the story.

On Tuesday, he had urged the court to acquit Bernard Lim without calling for his defence.

He said his client had not broken the law even if his actions might have been "morally reprehensible". The lawyer also said there were deficiencies in the prosecution's case, such as vagueness in the charges, the auditors' lack of authority to investigate the relationship between the two men, and lapses during a probe by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

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