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Singapore Grants Ill Ex-Minister Extended Overseas Stay

Singapore
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After falling ill in Australia, S Iswaran, the former transport minister of Singapore of Indian descent, was allowed to stay outside of Singapore for an extra sixteen days on Monday. This was due to an application made by his lawyers on the last day of the period for which he was initially granted approval. Iswaran is currently facing two corruption charges in court.
Last month, permission was granted for Iswaran, who is facing several allegations, including two counts of corruption, to travel from Singapore to Australia between February 16 and March 4 in order to assist his son with his university transition.

“At an urgent mention at the State Courts today, the defence filed an application to extend Iswaran’s permission to leave jurisdiction by 16 days, until Mar 19, 2024, as he had fallen ill while in Australia,” Channel News Asia quoted an Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) spokesperson as saying.

The application was accepted by the prosecution as long as the requirements associated with the increased bail were fulfilled.

Iswaran’s medical condition was not disclosed in detail in the announcement.

As per the terms of the extension, Iswaran will be required to submit daily reports on his health status and any potential problems with his return to Singapore on March 19 through video call to an investigating officer.

The prolongation of Iswaran’s stay in Australia requires the approval of his bailor as well.

As on March 20, the former minister is required to turn in his passport to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

The prosecution did not object to Iswaran’s initial application on Feb 8 as long as he adhered to additional bail conditions – including an extra bail sum of SGD500,000 in cash on top of his existing bail of SGD800,000.

Apart from the additional cash bail, Iswaran was also required to provide his travel itinerary and overseas address to an investigating officer, as well as remain contactable by the investigating officer at all times.

Iswaran’s case will be transferred to the High Court when he returns, 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 SGD200,000 from property tycoon Ong Beng Seng, according to a report by The Straits Times.

Ong is the man who brought Formula One to Singapore in 2008.

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

Numerous charges pertain to claimed occurrences that transpired between 2015 and 2021, concerning his alleged acquisition of tickets for a sports match between West Ham United and Everton, as well as television series like “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

On or around May 25, 2023, he could also be charged with obstructing the course of justice.

According to court documents, he had allegedly made repayment of SGD5,700 – the cost of his business class flight ticket from Doha to Singapore that he purportedly took on December 11, 2022, at Mr Ong’s expense – through Singapore GP.

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