NUS ex-law professor went to jail for 5 months for nothing

Tey Tsun Hang cannot ask for compensation and the prosecution cannot pursue the case much further.

By Belmont Lay

Former National University of Singapore law professor Tey Tsun Hang is probably the unluckiest lucky person in Singapore. Or is that the luckiest unlucky person? Anyway…

In a shocking twist, the High Court acquitted him on Friday, after he was convicted and served five months in jail for accepting gifts and sex from a student.

Justice Woo Bih Li overturned the decision of the trial judge on appeal and said that Tey, 42, was morally reprehensible but legally still okay for having sex with his student.

Not sure if there is any cold comfort in this.

Tey had decided to go ahead and serve his sentence in prison on June 26 last year, despite being offered bail pending his appeal.

He was released from prison on home detention on Sept. 17 and he completed the sentence on Oct. 5.

However, Tey cannot claim for compensation now as he chose to go to prison out of his own voliton as this is not a case of him being jailed because bail was denied.

The only redress is for him to sue for malicious prosecution, but it will be extremely difficult to prove malice.

The prosecution also has no right of appeal against Justice Woo’s decision to acquit Tey. They can take the case to the Court of Appeal only on points of law of public interest.

A spokesman for NUS said Tey can petition for reinstatement to get his job back but the university will hold its own inquiry into the case if he does.

And now that he is no longer guilty and free to speak his mind, Tey reiterated on the day of his acquittal that the “sex-for-favours” case against him was politically motivated right from the beginning.

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