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K.C. Vijayan
Monday, Oct 27, 2014

Singapore

No collateral needed for woman sued for $400k

The Straits Times | K.C. Vijayan | Monday, Oct 27, 2014

A woman being sued for the return of almost $400,000, allegedly borrowed from her former lover, will not have to provide security for the sum until her appeal against this demand is heard.

Ms Jo Baby Kartika Polim is being sued by businessman Henry Wee, who won a court order in August that she should underwrite the sum if she wished to defend the suit. He wanted the security in the form of a banker's guarantee or solicitor's undertaking, according to court documents filed.

But Justice Vinodh Coomaraswamy stayed the requirement on Tuesday, pending her appeal to the apex court to have the requirement waived altogether.

Ms Kartika had argued for a stay as she had other ongoing financial liabilities and the requirement would impair her ability to contest the suit.

Mr Wee, a businessman in his 60s, claimed the loans were made between 2011 and 2013 to help her acquire two properties in Kim Yam Road and Shenton Way. He is also seeking the return of $13,000 in personal loans made last year to help Ms Kartika with her personal expenses.

Ms Kartika, 48, a real estate agent, disputes the claims, countering that they were gifts as the couple were seeing each other. She ended their relationship, which began in 2007, last year.

Ms Kartika, a permanent resident from Indonesia, registered her marriage earlier this year to an Indonesian businessman.

A key issue is whether Mr Wee embarked on the suit because he was angry about the break-up. Now the court has to decide if the sums provided over the two years were loans or gifts.

Defended by lawyers Salem Ibrahim and Iman Marini, Ms Kartika claimed many events in their relationship would show the monies were not loans. She argued that they were together for six years, during which Mr Wee had been expected to contribute his share of the costs.

"I wish to say I am not an ugly woman to keep a man..." she said in court documents filed in Marchafter Mr Wee sued her.

Ms Kartika had then urged Mr Wee to withdraw his claim.

Mr Wee also wants back a Mercedes-Benz car that he had registered in her name and for which he paid $120,000. The businessman, represented by Senior Counsel Chelva Rajah and lawyer Teng Po Yew, maintains that his personal relationship did not affect his business relationship with Ms Kartika.

He points to other expenses amounting to about $65,000 which he treated as gifts to Ms Kartika in the course of their relationship and for which he did not claim in the suit.

These included monies for trips overseas, part payment for her entrance fee to the Tanglin Club and medical bills.

In April, Mr Wee succeeded through the court in recovering $105,000 of the money lent to help her acquire the flat in Shenton Way.

The suit for the remaining $398,300 sum is expected to be heard in the High Court next year.


This article was first published on October 25, 2014.
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