SINGAPORE — People’s Action Party (PAP) will await the verdict by the appeal of Mr Christopher de Souza before it determines the course of action necessary.
This was said in a statement by the ruling Party on Tuesday (6 Dec) in response to the news of Mr de Souza being found guilty of professional misconduct by a disciplinary tribunal.
The tribunal, in its report published on Tuesday, found there was cause of sufficient gravity for Mr de Souza to face disciplinary sanction before the Court of Three Judges on one of the five charges brought against him by LawSoc. The tribunal dismissed the other four charges.
In its statement shared by Mothership, PAP said, “Integrity, honesty and incorruptibility are fundamental to the Party. The standing of each PAP MP reflects on the Party, and the Party expects all MPs to uphold the highest standards.”
Mr de Souza is the Member of Parliament for Holland–Bukit Timah GRC and also the current deputy speaker of Parliament.
He was found guilty of one out of five charges put against him by the Singapore Law Society (LawSoc).
This is related to his conduct while he was acting for his clients, Amber Compounding Pharmacy and Amber Laboratories, in a High Court suit filed in 2018.
Based on the report by the two-member tribunal, which comprised Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan and Mr Pradeep Pillai, Mr de Souza had not made full and frank disclosure to the court when he was aware that his client had breached the conditions of a search order.
Instead, he helped his client, Mr Samuel Sudesh Thaddaeus, prepare and file an affidavit in January 2019 that did not exhibit certain documents which would have revealed that Amber had breached its undertaking.
Stating that it is aware of the professional disciplinary proceedings against Mr de Souza in his capacity as a lawyer, PAP notes that the tribunal has cleared him of four out of the five charges by the LawSoc.
PAP shared that Mr de Souza has informed it that he denies any wrongdoing and that he will argue his case on the one charge, on appeal before the Court of Three Judges.
“We will await the verdict of the Court of Three Judges, and determine the course of action necessary after the verdict,” said PAP.
When contacted for comments by the media, Mr de Souza’s lawyers said “there is no question” that their client had acted with “utmost integrity in the conduct of this matter at all times” and noted that four of the five charges were dismissed
“As regards the remaining charge, this is a matter now before the Court of Three Judges and it is not appropriate for us to comment on the merits at this juncture. Suffice to say that we will strenuously resist it and argue that it too should be dismissed.”
Possible sanctions under the Legal Profession Act range from suspension, fines and being struck off the roll.