Ex-SPH Exec to Plead Guilty to 3 Charges (ST)

BackJul 11, 2012

FORMER Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) senior vice-president Peter Khoo Chong Meng will plead guilty to one criminal breach of trust and two corruption charges.

His lawyer, Mr Alfonso Ang, told a district court yesterday that Khoo, 49, would not be making representations and would admit to the charges. He added that he had always intended to plead guilty since the day he confessed.

Khoo had worked at SPH for 22 years before he was sacked in September 2010.

He was with the English and Malay Newspapers Division when he allegedly obtained $83,500 in kickbacks between July 2006 and August 2010 from Mr Liaw Kim Chew to ensure that the latter would be awarded business deals from SPH's Editorial Projects Unit.

Mr Liaw's firm, Sino British Industries, supplied items such as T-shirts, towels, stationery and mouse pads to be used as giveaways, or for projects such as the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and ST Media Club.

Khoo had allegedly also taken $23,095 worth of shopping vouchers from SPH that were intended for the branding and promotion activities of The Straits Times between 2007 and 2010.

The prosecution will proceed with one charge of criminal breach of trust which will be amended to a less serious provision in the Penal Code that carries a jail term of up to seven years, a fine, or both, and two charges of corruption.

Khoo confessed his alleged misdeeds to then-Straits Times editor Han Fook Kwang and editor-in-chief Patrick Daniel in September 2010. His confession came amid an internal audit reviewing expenditure in various departments in the newspaper.

Khoo will return to court on Aug 7.