Iswaran granted approval to leave Singapore, required to provide $500k cash bail

Iswaran granted approval to leave Singapore, required to provide $500k cash bail
Former transport minister S. Iswaran (centre) turned up at the State Courts at around 2.30pm on Feb 8 to make an application to leave jurisdiction.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE — Former transport minister S. Iswaran has been granted permission to leave Singapore to settle his son into university in Australia, three weeks after he was handed 27 charges, which he pleaded not guilty to.

The prosecution imposed several conditions to this, including a cash bail of $500,000. Iswaran must also provide his itinerary to the investigating officer (IO) and remain contactable to the IO.

He must also surrender his travel documents within 24 hours of his return to Singapore.

On Feb 8, Iswaran, who is out on $800,000 bail, turned up at the State Courts at around 2.30pm to make an application to leave jurisdiction.

His case will also be transferred to the High Court, with the prosecution saying this was due to the strong public interest in this case.

He is accused of 24 counts of obtaining, as a minister, items with a total value of more than $200,000 from?property tycoon Ong Beng Seng. Ong is the man who brought Formula One to Singapore in 2008.

These items include tickets to the Singapore Grand Prix (GP), football matches in Britain and musicals.

Several of the charges were related to alleged incidents that happened between 2015 and 2021, and involved him allegedly obtaining tickets to a football match between West Ham United and Everton and to shows such as Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.

He also faces a charge of obstructing the course of justice on or about May 25, 2023.

According to court documents, he had allegedly made repayment of $5,700 — the cost of his business class flight ticket from Doha to Singapore that he had taken on Dec 11, 2022, at?Ong’s expense — through Singapore GP.

Iswaran was arrested in July 2023 by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) following its investigation into a separate matter. Ong was also arrested that month as part of the corruption probe.

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Iswaran is represented by Senior Counsel Davinder Singh from Davinder Singh Chambers while the prosecution team is led by Chief Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng.

Following his court appearance on Jan 18, Iswaran issued a statement stating his innocence and said he will focus on clearing his name.

Iswaran was elected in 1997 as an MP for West Coast GRC, where he has served for the last 26 years.

He was promoted to full minister in the Prime Minister’s Office in 2011.

Iswaran resigned from the People’s Action Party in January and stepped down as transport minister and West Coast GRC MP.

For each corruption charge, he can be fined up to $100,000, jailed for up to seven years, or both.

He can be fined, jailed for up to two years or both, for obtaining valuable items from someone he had business dealings with as a public servant.

For obstructing the course of justice, he can be jailed for up to seven years, fined or both.

ALSO READ:?MTI to review terms of F1 Singapore Grand Prix amid Iswaran's corruption allegations

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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