Referees refuse to return to Singapore for match-fixing trial
Two Lebanese match officials jailed in Singapore for accepting free sex from an alleged match-fixer have refused to return to the city state to testify at his trial, a court heard yesterday.
Assistant referees Ali Eid, 33, and Abdallah Taleb, 37, were deported in June after serving three-month prison sentences for accepting the services of a prostitute as a bribe from local nightclub owner Eric Ding Si Yang.
Another Lebanese national, referee Ali Sabbagh, testified for the prosecution last month while he was still in Singapore serving a six-month jail term. Jeffrey Tan Kian Tat, an investigator from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), told the court Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb had communicated to him through the Lebanese Football Association and a Lebanese diplomat in Singapore their unwillingness to return to testify.
State prosecutors had earlier said they hoped they could get the Lebanese pair to appear in court.
"Each of them say they have made clear and detailed statements on their involvement with Ding Si Yang and have nothing to add to the statement which can assist the prosecution in the trial," Tan said.