Wednesday, 27 September 2023

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TOC Exclusive (Updated) – Shadrake to take legal action against Singapore for malicious prosecution

In view of the bail bond of $80,000 likely to be imposed on Alan Shadrake and the strenuous objection by the Attorney General’s Chamber, the British author has decided not to apply to leave Singapore. Instead, he reveals in Court today his intention to take legal action against Singapore in the European courts for malicious prosecution.

The following is a transcript of Alan Shadrake’s affidavit filed in Court this afternoon.

I, Alan Shadrake do solemnly and sincerely affirm and say as follows:-

1.  I am the Respondent in these proceedings.

2.  The matters deposed to herein are true and where they are,based on documents in my possession, they are true to my best information, knowledge and belief.

3.  I crave leave to reply to Kwok Charn Kong’s affidavit filed or 30 November 2010.

4.  According to my mobile phone, the time of my arrest was 6.30am on the morning of Sunday, July 18. I had got to sleep about three hours earlier at around 3.30am. The next thing I was aware of was hearing a series of loud bangs on my hotel room door with shouts of ‘open up, this is the police.’ When I staggered to the door still half asleep four men in plain clothes barged into the room. One was holding an envelope and he told me he had a warrant for my arrest. When I asked why he replied ‘For illegal communication’ and when I asked what that meant he said he would explain later. Then they all started ransacking the room, pulling off bed-st)eets, looking under the bed and in the wardrobe and drawers and at the same. time I was harassed to get dressed quickly and pack my belongings.

5. I wanted to shower but they refused to let me do this and would not let me use the bathroom with the door closed. They gave me only enough time to pee and clean my teeth, I was not allowed to shave or shower. This constant bullying harassment went on all the time until I had packed all my possessions. My two mobile phones and my passport were taken from me at the same time. I did not take my prescription drugs, as Mr Kwok claims – he was not there anyway -because with a combination of three I have to take one of them in particular with food. It was too early anyway. I usually take the first batch around 9am at breakfast.

6.  I was then bundled down the stairs to a side entrance where a car was waiting and I sat between two officers on the back seat. At police HQ I was taken to room on the 18’h floor. All my possessions were taken from me including my wallet, credit cards, cash, and laid out on a table in front of me. All the items were photographed and then I was photographed. After this I was taken to a cell and had to sit or lie on a concrete floor. If Mr. Kwok says I was able to sleep for a total of 9 hours during my almost two day stay there, he is wrong. I could not sleep at all. I was given some cold rice and soggy vegetable and a cup of some liquid which might have been coffee. Shortly after, I was taken to see the doctor who examined me. I was then escorted back to my cell. A little later a guard came to the cell,. handcuffed me and took me to a room where my prescription drugs were being held. There I was supervised taking the Morning combination: Norvasc, Co-Approval and Coversyl. All this time I was wearing only a pair of briefs, light trousers and a thin T-Shirt. My belt, shoes and socks also had to be surrendered.

7.  Later that morning, possibly around 10am, I was taken to an. ‘interview’ room and told to sit at a table under an air vent. I immediately felt a jet of cold air down the back of my neck. Officer Kwek came into the room and introduced himself as the investigating officer. He gave me three envelopes containing papers outlining three charges against me arising from my book Once a Jolly’ Hangman. I noticed that he was warmly dressed with his zip-up jacket collar turned up. He then began asking questions concerning some of the statements I made in the book. He told me I could make changes and I understood that if any errors had been made that this would entail one complete statement with the errors removed. But later he said all the statements – errors or not – would be printed as one and that I would not be able to have a copy. The questioning went on all day with normal breaks. The total~time each day was approximately ten hours. I did not say in the Affidavit that I was starved or prevented from using the toilet but that this whole ordeal was brutal and uncivilized. Lord Anthony Lester, a human rights lawyer in London, told me during a telephone call after my release thelt it reminded him of a famous book The Trial and described my questioning as ‘Kafkaesque’. This is a term similar to ‘Orwellian’ – from ‘l984’ the futuristic book. by George Orwell – about authoritarian societies based on Machiavellian princ~ples and techniques and which I understand are not – surprisingly – banned in, Singapore, (perhaps they are used as police text books), but the techniques – the use of fear and threats – appear to be thriving as they did in the Middle Ages.

8.  I must also repeat that if I were a dangerous terrorist with bombs and guns in my suitcase, an armed bank robber or money launderer I would not be in a position to complain. I am a 76 year old writer – and people of my age usually have all kinds of ailments. My medical problems concern my long term heart disease and my risk of developing colon cancer again – twice so far over the past eight years. In August I underwent a colonoscopy procedure at Gleneagles Hospital. Ten days later I almost bled to death in the street – the result of something going wrong with the operation. Had I not been rushed to the emergency ward I would have collapsed and died before anyone would know the cause. A doctor and nurse at Gleneagles said had I arrived half an hour later it, would have been too late. This is just one example of the stress this persecution has caused me over the past four months. Someone should have used their common sense when planning my arrest. It could have been done in a very civilized manner especially as Singapore continually proclaims itself to be a civilized, ‘First World’ country. If not as strong as I am, I could very likely have had a heart attack there and then that morning.

9. Concerning the timing of my arrest, the Straits Times published a report issued by the CID that I’was arrested at 8.30am. Mr. Kwok says it,was 7.40am. I say it was 6.30am and I will stick to my version of what time it was. I was there and I have no reason to change the time – as it seems the CID now has. After almost two days in custody either lying on a concrete floor or being interrogated, I was released- on bail at close on midnight having at that late hou.r to find a hotel which would admit me, without a passport. I did not surrender,, this document as a condition of bail, as it had already been confiscated aloog with all my other possessions. The bail was also conditional that I returned to continue the interrogations every day. At the same time I had to change hotels almost everyday. I was not given any special time to do this and the pressure on me to ‘cooperate’ continued until my lawyer M Ravi complained to Officer Kwek and sent him my medical reports which explained the many procedures I was undergoing and about to undergo to ensure my heart condition stabilized. This was successful after being prescribed four special heart muscle strengthening vitamins and an additional blood thinner.

10.  This ordeal continued until Friday morning when I decided to see my GP at Silver Cross Clinic, Bukit Timah, where I used to live. I was extremely fatigued and had worrying chest pains. After various tests and reading my six year record on the clinic’s database, she made an appointment for me to see my long-term cardiologist, Dr. Peter Yan, at Gleneagies Hospital. My GP and Dr. Yan recommended that the interrogations should stop until my heart condition was under control. He put me through many tests, including an MRI, a 24-hour heart monitor, and two treadmill tests. At one stage he described my heart beat as being ‘all over the place.’ He prescribed four special heart strengthening vitamins plus an additional blood-thinner which, together with my five prescription drugs, at a cost of $800.00 per month. The total medical costs involving four doctors and specialists at Gleneagles and Mount E hospitals total almost $15,000 which has caused an overdraft at my bank. -There is no doubt whatsoever that the ordeal I was put through – and which is continuing unabated as far as the AG’s Chambers is concerned – has had a deleterious effect on my general health. I have in my possession four finisher’s medals for half marathons in Singapore – all of which were completed in less than three hours. Today I can hardly walk 500 meters without feeling thoroughly fatigued. This confirms my belief that the barbaric ordeal I have been put through ha’s had a very serious effect on my health and that a pacemaker and double angioplasty should be obtained as soon as possible.

11.  However, once I felt more comfortable and relaxed after the medical treatment which stabilized my heart condition, I twice suggested to Officer Kwek that if he wanted to continue with interrogations I would be willing to cooperate provided they were not long and exhausting as before. He referred me to my lawyer M. Ravi I did not say at any time that Officer Kwek behaved in an uncivilized manner towards me. I was referring to the barbaric method of arresting me at dawn, harassing me to get dressed and packed, put in a cell for almost two days unable to shower or shave and with only a concrete floor to sleep on. In addition to this I found it extremely uncomfortable sitting under a cold jet of air from the vent – deliberately, I have since been told – which is one of the Machiavellian methods used to undermine the morale of those under being interrogated. When I complained Officer Kwek allowed me to sit at the end of the table away from the air vent. However, the room was still very cold and uncomfortable. To say that I was allowed to have toilet breaks and given intervals, however, is rather strange. I thought eating and relieving oneself is a normal human need and I hope, had I been starved and prevented from going to the toilet while being interrogated in a cold room, is something even Singapore would not have perpetrated. Again, I would like to emphasize that I am not a terrorist, a bank robber, rapist, or ‘overstayer’ and there was no need to treat me in such an ugly and uncivilized manner,

12.  Then for the Attorney General to ‘remind’ me of my rights to request the return of my passport without conditions in order that I may spend Christmas with my family and seek further medical attention in the UK, as Dr. Yan advised me to consider in the r)ear future, then rescind the offer by making it impossible by imposing an $80,000 bond is further evidence of Singapore’s duplicity in the administration of justice. This also helps to confirm much of what I have said in my book Once A jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock.

13. In view of all the above, I have instructed my legal advisors in Singapore and London to begin proceedings for malicious prosecution.

14.Annexed herewith, Exhibit “A”, are copies of the numerous letters (inclusive of fax transmissions) sent, by my counsel Mr. M. Ravi, to the police, entailing the extent to which t~ie police had harassed me in the name of investigations and the extent to which my counsel had to go to preserve my health and sanity,

Affirmed by the abovenamed


The Straits Times reported the Dec 2nd hearing this morning. No mention was made of Shadrake’s intention to take legal action against Singapore.

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