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Lim Tean files application to disqualify the Attorney General from representing Commercial Affairs Department in lawsuit

The basis of the application is that there is a conflict of interest between the Attorney General and the Public Prosecutor's office

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Opposition politician and lawyer Lim Tean filed for an order that the Attorney General be disqualified from representing the Commercial Affairs Department, the Singapore Police Force and their officers in connection with all matters in the police reports in relation to the ongoing investigations against him, according to his counsel, Mr M Ravi, on Wednesday (Oct 28).

In a Facebook post, Mr Ravi wrote that the basis of their application was that there lay a conflict of interest between the Attorney General and the Public Prosecutor’s office.

He wrote: “We are contending that the legal advice to the CAD and SPF in relation to the judicial review that I have filed separately challenging the legality of Tean’s arrest and the investigation that such investigation and arrest may render Tean being prosecuted for offences in Court and we are further contending that given Tean’s standing as a prominent opposition politician, there may be a risk of apparent biasness where justice must not only be done but also seen to be done”.

Explaining about the conflict of interest, Mr Ravi continued: “the office of AG wearing 2 hats was raised none other than the former Attorney Gerneral Woon in an article published in the Straits Times dated 29 September 2017 where former AG Walter Woon urged the government to separate the 2 functions of the AG and to let the prosecutorial function be undertaken by an Independent candidate by the President”.

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The hearing is fixed in the High Court next Thursday, Nov 5 before Justice Ang Cheng Hock at 2.30pm.

What Initially Happened

Mr Lim, who is a lawyer and leader of the Peoples Voice party, was arrested for suspected criminal breach of trust under the Penal Code. He is also being investigated for an alleged offence of unlawful stalking under the Protection from Harassment Act.

In a Facebook statement on Friday (Oct 2), the day Mr Lim was arrested, Mr Ravi wrote: “3 police officers from the Commercial Affairs Department just barged into the office and arrested Lim Tean whilst he is preparing his case with Leong Sze Hian in his room for next Tuesday’s defamation trial to cross-examine the Prime Minister.”

Calling the arrest “unlawful”, he added: “Lim Tean protested when they placed the handcuff on him that his arrest is politically motivated.”

However, in a statement, the police rejected his allegations that the investigations are politically motivated. It said: “Mr Lim Tean’s alleged victims had filed police reports alleging serious offences by him against them, and the police have a duty to investigate the allegations.”

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