Transport Minister S Iswaran Charged For Multiple Offences Including Corruption, Pleads Not Guilty

Singapore’s Minister Of Transport S Iswaran Charged

Transport Minister S Iswaran was charged in court today (18 Jan).

According to The Straits Times, he faces a total of 27 charges. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. The matter will be adjourned for a pre-trial conference.

Shortly after leaving the courtroom, it was reported that he has resigned as Transport Minister and Member of Parliament for West Coast GRC.

Members of the media spotted Mr Iswaran, 61, arriving at the State Courts at around 8.10am.

This comes slightly more than a week after Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said in a written parliamentary reply that the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) has wrapped its investigations into Mr Iswaran.

Mr Chan had said on 9 Jan that the matter was pending review by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

Arrival in court

Dressed in a dark suit, Mr Iswaran was seen arriving with his lawyer Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, as well as other lawyers from Davinder Singh Chambers.

Channel NewsAsia, which was giving live updates, said Mr Iswaran was engaged in a lengthy discussion with his lawyers in court. He reportedly had his charges pre-read to him.

27 charges, including corruption

A statement released by CPIB stated that he faces two charges of corruption, 24 charges of obtaining gratification as a public servant, and one charge of obstructing the course of justice.

Under the corruption charges, CPIB alleged that Mr Iswaran obtained from a Mr Ong Beng Seng gratification worth more than S$166,280 in September and December 2022, to advance Mr Ong’s business interests relating to a contract between Singapore GP and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

The second corruption charge also talked about a proposal for a contract with STB.

As for the charge on obtaining gratification, CPIB alleged that Mr Iswaran, as a public servant, has received gratification worth more than S$218,000.

Lastly, he was charged with obstructing the course of justice by making a repayment of S$5,700 to Singapore GP.

Source: S Iswaran on Facebook

Arrested in July

Mr Iswaran was the subject of a CPIB probe last year. He was arrested on 11 July 2023 and was subsequently released on bail.

The minister was instructed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to take a leave of absence until the investigation is completed; he also had his passport impounded.

Mr Iswaran’s involvement marks Singapore’s first high-profile graft case since 1986, when then-Minister for National Development Teh Cheang Wan was investigated by the CPIB for bribery allegations.

Singapore’s Transport Minister since 2021, Mr Iswaran also served as the Minister for Communications and Information and Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) in a political career that spans nearly 30 years.

Mr Ong, a billionaire known for bringing the Formula 1 race to Singapore, was also arrested on 11 July 2023 as part of the probe.

Also read: Transport Minister S Iswaran Assisting In CPIB Probe, Will Take Leave Of Absence

Transport Minister S Iswaran Assisting In CPIB Probe, Will Take Leave Of Absence

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Featured image adapted from S Iswaran on Facebook

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