Earlier today at the State Courts, Ms Chua Siew Leng, one of the six accused in the Hong Lim Park event clash between the CPF protesters and YMCA pleaded guilty to the public nuisance charge filed against her.
After a mitigation plea by her Lawyer, Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, Ms Chua was fined $300 by District Judge John Ng. In his mitigation plea, Mr Thuraisingam argued that Ms Chua has “distanced herself from attending such events in future.”
Ms Chua could have been fined up to $1,000 but District Judge John Ng reduced the fine to $300 on account of her “early” guilty plea, her minor role in the proceedings on 27 September at Hong Lim Park and the fact that she had no prior criminal record. Deputy Public Prosecutor Lu also agreed that the quantum of $300 would be “fair to serve the ends of justice.”
The other five defendants also said that they respected Ms Chua’s decision due to her personal circumstances as Ms Chua did not wish to extend the legal process.
Ms Han Hui Hui and Mr Roy Ngerng will be represented by Ms Violet Netto and Mr George Hwang respectively.
Ms Han and Mr Ngerng, who co-organized the protest, are also facing an additional charge which could see them fined up to $5,000.
Ms Netto will also be representing Mr Goh Aik Huat, Mr Ivan Koh Yew Beng and Ms Janet Low Wai Choo.
TOC understands that Mr Ngerng changed his lawyer to Mr Hwang only late last night. Mr Hwang is a lawyer who specialises in Entertainment and Media Law. Mr Hwang believes that the right to free speech underscores every aspect of Media Law. He is also the first member of the South East Asian Media Defence Network to represent the International Bar Association on trial observation missions.
It was revealed in court today that the complainant was a 20-year-old full-time National Serviceman who called the Police at 4.51pm to complain that the protesters were “going around the place.” The police, who identified themselves before the start of the event in a conversation with the co-organizers, were also present throughout the event.
The other five defendants will go on a joint trial on 4 June and 5 June.
Editor's note: This article has been edited following clarifications by Ms Chua that she did not receive a jail sentence, only a $300 fine. We apologise for the error and any inconvenience caused to Ms Chua. The term 'Hecklegate' was also removed because of an objection to the term by one of the protesters.