Jurisdiction - Singapore
Singapore – White Collar: Public Prosecutor v Tey Tsun Hang [2013] SGDC 165; Tey Hsun Hang v Public Prosecutor [2014] SGHC 39.

13 March, 2014


Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Singapore – Dispute Resolution


In this corruption case, Tey Tsun Hang, a former law professor at the National University of Singapore, was charged with six counts of corruption for receiving sexual gratification and other gifts from his former student, one Ms. Darinne Ko, as an inducement to show favour to her in his assessment of her academic grades.

The facts of the case went largely uncontested. Tey admitted to receiving gifts and sexual gratification, and that he had contravened the University Code of Conduct by failing to declare them. The District Court found Tey guilty of corruption, holding that his acts had a corrupt intention as he had abused his position of power and influence over Ms. Ko, and that their relationship was in fact laced with ulterior motives. Further, from an examination of Tey’s conduct, the District Court held that he had guilty knowledge that what he did was corrupt.

However, the High Court reversed the District Court’s decision, acquitting Tey of all charges. The High Court found that Ms. Ko was in fact in love with Tey, and did not have any intention to seek academic favour from him. Further, while the Court agreed that Tey had exploited Ms. Ko, it found that he had not done so with a corrupt intent or with any promise of academic favour. Finally, the Court doubted the applicability of the element of ‘guilty knowledge’ as a test for corruption, as a consideration of the recipient’s subjective knowledge could lead to potentially arbitrary results.


Rajah & Tann


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