Pritam Singh pleads not guilty to 2 charges of lying to parliamentary committee in relation to Raeesah Khan case

Pritam Singh charged with 2 counts of lying to parliamentary committee in relation to Raeesah Khan

Leader of the Opposition and Workers’ Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh was charged today (March 19) with two counts of lying to a parliamentary committee, in relation to a controversy involving his party’s former Member of Parliament (MP) Raeesah Khan.

This comes two years after the matter was referred to the police, following recommendations from the Committee of Privileges, which found that the Leader of the Opposition had been untruthful under oath during its investigations into Ms Khan.

Pritam Singh arrives at State Courts, believed to be for perjury investigation

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), Singh, 47, was first spotted arriving at the State Courts at about 10.45am.

Source: Google Maps

His case against the public prosecutor was scheduled for 11am.

According to CNA, he arrived at the State Courts alone.

He asked reporters to wait for a statement. When queried why he was there, he reportedly said: “Why do you normally come to the State Courts?”

CNA said the prosecutor informed Singh of his two charges in the courtroom, following which the opposition politician replied: “I plead not guilty.”

The pre-trial conference will be on April 17 at 9am.

Parliament referred Leader of the Opposition to public prosecutor

In 2021, the Committee of Privileges (COP) was convened to investigate Ms Khan over lies she told the House in 2020. She claimed on 3 August 2021 that she accompanied a sexual assault victim to a police station, and the victim told her she was treated insensitively. This turned out to be untrue.

In October 2021, she repeated the lie in the House.

Ms Khan said she had confessed the lie to WP leadership on 8 Aug, but was told to “retain the narrative that she began”.

She also said that Singh instructed her to “take it to the grave”. Singh denied the allegations, saying that he had given her time to clarify her lie as he was sympathetic to the fact that she had been a victim of sexual assault.

Both Singh and WP vice-chair Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, who are MPs for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC), had testified before the committee under oath.

In February 2022, the committee found that the pair had not been truthful in their testimony, and recommended referring them to the public prosecutor for further investigations, which Parliament later endorsed.

The COP report said that Singh appeared to have “played the key and leading role in guiding Ms Khan in respect of the untruth”, adding that he had lied when he asserted during the hearings that he had asked her to set the record straight in the House.

Ms Khan, who has since resigned from the party and stepped down from her role as a MP in Sengkang GRC, was fined S$35,000 for lying on two occasions and abusing her parliamentary privilege.

Raeesah Khan Maintains ‘Take It To Grave’ Account, Refutes WP Leaders’ Testimonies

In a press release, the police said it is charging Singh for two offences of wilfully making false answers while before the COP.

The first was for falsely testifying that he wanted Ms Khan to, at some point, clarify in Parliament that her anecdote was untrue, following an 8 Aug meeting.

The second was for falsely testifying that when he spoke to Ms Khan on 3 Oct, he wanted her to admit that she had lied to Parliament if the issue were to come up in Parliament on 4 Oct.

Mr Faisal was also under investigation

Mr Faisal was also referred to the public prosecutor for further investigations and possible criminal proceedings over his refusal to answer questions during the COP hearing.

This was even after he was told that a refusal to answer the question amounted to contempt of Parliament and an offence.

A report of the hearing noted: “Mr Faisal confirmed that the committee should place on record that he was refusing to answer that question.”

In relation to this, the police said the prosecution has decided not to press any charges against him after considering the totality of the evidence.

However, an advisory was issued to him “to advise him to familiarise himself with the conduct expected of Members of Parliament under the Act”.

Mr Faisal has acknowledged the advisory, it added.

If found guilty of lying to a parliamentary committee, Singh could be fined up to S$7,000, jailed for up to three years or both for each charge.

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