For three of the seven people who were charged with the murder of a 31-year-old man at Orchard Towers Tuesday, July 2, the court on Thursday, July 11, provided relief downgrading the murder charges to minor charges.
All the three -- Tan Hong Sheng, Chan Jia Xing and Loo Boon Chong -- had their murder charges withdrawn and they are now facing the charge of consorting with a person carrying an offensive weapon.
As per the court documents, three male suspects are accused of being in the company of co-accused Tan Sen Yang, who allegedly had a foldable karambit knife on the night of the incident at Naughty Girl Club.
Two lawyers Diana Ngiam and Sujesh Anandan from Quahe Woo & Palmer are representing the 25-year-old Loo, while lawyers Josephus Tan, Cory Wong and Shane Yeo are defending the 22-year-old Tan and 26-year-old Chan.
Earlier, these three men were also charged with the murder of Satheesh Noel Gobidass at Orchard Towers on Jul 2 along with Tan Sen Yang, 27, Ang Da Yuan, 26, Joel Tan Yun Sheng, 26 and 22-year-old Natalie Siow Yu Zhen.
The female accused, Zhen, who has become an internet celebrity, as she garnered a massive fan base online, is represented by lawyers Cheryl Ng from Intelleigen Legal and Amarick Gill.
Joel is also being represented by lawyers from Invictus Law Corporation, led by defence counsel Josephus Tan.
Apart from the three alleged criminals, who had their charges replaced with lesser ones, other suspects are accused of murder with common intention.
As mentioned in court documents, these suspects were involved in an unlawful assembly with a common intention of causing hurt to the 31-year-old victim that caused his death at the entrance of Orchard Towers. When the police reached the crime spot on July 2 they found a blood pool and the motionless body of Satheesh, who died at Tock Seng Hospital as the suspects attacked him with the knife to slit his throat on July 2.
A CCTV footage showed that the alleged offenders were intercepting the deceased at the entrance, near the escalator, before attacking the deceased man. Shin Min Daily News reported that the brawl started over a woman.
District Judge Terence Tay ordered that three suspects, who are currently facing downgraded charges, are not allowed to contact their co-accused, accomplices nor any of the prosecution's witnesses.
However, it should be noted that Tan Hong Sheng and Chan Jia Xing were offered bail of S$25,000. Loo's lawyer Diana Ngiam urged for her client to be given S$15,000 bail and told the judge that Loo had voluntarily gone to the police station to assist in the investigation.
On the other hand', the prosecution applied for Tan Sen Yang to be remanded as he is believed to be involved in other offences. Two other accused Ang Dayuan and Joel Tan were ordered to be remanded at Changi Medical Complex for psychiatric assessment. The female accused Zhen was ordered to be remanded at Changi Women's Prison for three weeks for psychiatric assessment.
It should be noted that the punishment for the convicts of murder is mandatory death penalty and for carrying offensive weapons in public places is up to three years of imprisonment and at least six strokes of the cane.