Alleged assault by Saudi diplomat: Probe completed
By K.C. Vijayan
24 May 2010
The police have concluded a probe into an alleged assault by a Saudi diplomat on a condominium resident and have referred the findings to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
Responding to media queries, a spokesman said last Friday that the police are awaiting the AGC’s ‘directions on the appropriate course of action to be taken’.
Last week, alleged victim A. Jaafar was informed by the Subordinate Courts’ registrar that the case was in police hands and was being investigated as a criminal case of causing hurt under the Penal Code.
Mr. Jaafar, 37, had lodged a magistrate’s complaint on March 2 after being advised by the police on the alleged incident, which was said to have occurred on Jan 9 at the carpark of Glendale Park condominium in Hillview Avenue.
The magistrate had held that the alleged incident was serious enough to warrant a probe. A police investigation thus followed.
Mr. Jaafar, a senior executive, had alleged that the Third Secretary of the Saudi Arabian Embassy here, Mr. Bader I.F. Al-Balawi, attacked him on Jan 9 at about 4.45pm when he told the diplomat not to park in a space reserved for the handicapped.
Mr. Jaafar was hurt in the alleged altercation, which was said to have been preceded by verbal abuse.
He was taken to the National University Hospital for treatment and discharged on the same day. Police were alerted and subsequently took statements from both parties.
Mr. Jaafar’s lawyer Mark Goh said yesterday that he was heartened that the AGC was taking up this case, and added that the probe could have been done in a more expeditious manner. He pointed out that if it takes too long, the evidence ‘gets cold’.
Also at issue is Mr. Bader’s diplomatic immunity status, which exempts him from any criminal probe or civil suits in relation to the alleged assault, said Mr. Goh.
Mr. Bader ranks third in the Saudi Embassy hierarchy here, according to the embassy’s website. The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia has made clear it will offer full cooperation to the authorities in Singapore.
It has also said, in response to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) about the importance of observing the rule of law here, that ‘it would like to express its profound respect for the laws and regulations of the Republic of Singapore and the rights of its citizens’.
The embassy also hired lawyer Peter Pang to represent Mr. Bader, and is understood to have conducted its own investigation into the alleged incident.
An MFA spokesman said last Saturday that it would be premature for the ministry to comment at the moment as the case now rests with the AGC.