Ex-SPH Exec Charged (ST)

BackJun 27, 2012

A FORMER senior vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) was charged in court for corruption and criminal breach of trust (CBT) yesterday, almost two years after he was arrested.

Peter Khoo Chong Meng (below), 49, who was with the English and Malay Newspapers Division, allegedly received $83,500 in kickbacks between July 2006 and August 2010 from Mr Liaw Kim Chew, whose firm Sino British Industries was a supplier for SPH.

In return, he is alleged to have awarded Mr Liaw contracts for initiatives under the Editorial Projects Unit that he was overseeing.

Khoo had allegedly also taken $23,095 worth of shopping vouchers from SPH intended for the branding and promotion activities of The Straits Times.

Altogether, eight counts of corruption were slapped on Khoo for accepting the illegal payments, and two counts of CBT by a servant for misappropriating the vouchers.

Now a marketing and branding consultant, he arrived in court with his lawyers at 8.45am. He declined to comment on the case when approached, but later said through lawyer Alfonso Ang: "Anything to be said will be said in court."

Mr Ang had asked the courts for two weeks to let Khoo consider the prosecution's offer to reduce the two more serious CBT by a servant charges to just CBT, and proceed with three charges in all, if he pleaded guilty.

Khoo was sacked in September 2010 after he voluntarily admitted to his misdeeds. He has made restitution of at least $196,500 to the company.