Singapore—Lim Oon Kuin, popularly known as OK Lim, failed to appear in court again on Thursday morning (Apr 29), where he had been scheduled to face 23 new charges of forgery-related offences.
The beleaguered founder of Hin Leong Trading, 79, had obtained a medical certificate that said he was not fit to be in court.
According to the tycoon’s lawyer, Mr Navin Thevar of Davinder Singh Chambers, Lim had been diagnosed with “acute and chronic sinusitis” that rendered him unable to show up to the hearing.
The lawyer added that his client is in need of surgery due to this condition, but cannot undergo it yet because he is taking blood thinners.
The Business Times reports that, because of this medical condition, Mr Thevar asked for an adjournment of two weeks .
This is the third time that Lim could not be tendered the new charges because of poor health.
Mr Navin Nadir, the Deputy Public Prosecutor on the case, told the court on Thursday morning, “Prosecution has indicated that Lim’s presence is required but he is not in court. And it’s 9.05 am.”
As to Mr Thevar’s request for a two-week adjournment, Judge Tay said, “Your letter says your client is required to go for surgery, and you are asking the court and prosecution to wait until when? When will you get updates?
“There is no way for us to see what’s going to happen next and we can’t have it that way.”
DPP Nadir asked Judge Tay to consider compelling Lim to appear in court, arguing that “Lim saw the doctor on April 20 and was told to come back for review in a week, on April 27. But on April 22, he went back to the doctor again. What we have here is a document dated April 28 saying Lim is unfit to attend court on April 29… But no medical assessment was done between April 22 and 28.”
However, Judge Tay said that he is not in a position to override the position of doctors.
When the DPP asked for the hearing to be scheduled the following day (Apr 30), Mr Thevar said, “My client is 79. He suffers from a slew of chronic medical conditions and is generally in poor health… The fact that he is unfit today, it may be prudent to give us a few days.”
Judge Tay disagreed with this, saying that the medical certificate does not indicate the tycoon would be unfit to appear in court tomorrow.
Therefore, Lim’s next hearing has been set for 9 am on April 30 at the State Courts.
In April last year, he took to court to seek protection from creditors. According to an AFP report, Lim’s company had not been making profits in the last few years even though its official report showed it to be in the black for 2019.
He said that he had not disclosed S$800 million in losses in the past few years, and owed nearly S$4 billion to banks.
Lim was then charged with forgery on Aug 14, 2020, for having an executive at his trading company, forge a document allegedly issued by UT Singapore Services that stated that the company had transferred over one million barrels of gasoil to China Aviation Oil (Singapore).
A month later, on Sept 25, the police said in a statement that Lim had been charged with abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating.
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