Both Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Suet Fern were "cooperative" and agreed to to be interviewed when they were asked by the police attend an interview regarding potential offences of giving false evidence, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) stated.
The statement was issued following a response in Parliament by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam to several questions posed by Members from the Workers' Party (WP) and the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) about the process regarding the investigation into the Lees.
WP's Sylvia Lim asked if the police had issued an order to the Lees under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
Shanmugam replied that a specific order under the CPC had not been issued.
"The police normally would not issue such an order. They would first contact and speak with and send a written document. And if a party says that they will cooperate, the police would assume in good faith that that's how they will proceed.
And that is what was done, and the next thing the police heard was another email from the couple saying that they will not cooperate, but by then they were, already, as I said, essentially absconded from jurisdiction."
Written order under CPC is usually not issued in the first instance
In response to media queries, the SPF clarified that interviews are conducted in the following manner -- with the interview subjects first being contacted through various means, such as in-person or by telephone, letter or email.
A written order under the CPC will usually not be issued by the police in the first instance, the SPF added.
However, if the person is assessed to be likely to be uncooperative, or if there is some other reason, then a written order under the CPC may be issued.
In the case of the Lees, on Jun. 9, 2022, the police met with them to ask them to attend an interview with the SPF over potential offences of giving false evidence.
The police also gave a letter to the couple, which contained information about the investigation and included a request for them to attend an interview.
The SPF added, "The couple was cooperative and agreed to be interviewed. They said that they would confirm the exact date of the interview subsequently."
Couple also confirmed their interview date
On Jun. 13, 2022, the Lees confirmed that they would be available for an interview a month later, on Jul. 13.
However, on Jul. 13 itself, they sent an email to the police to say that they would not attend the interview, and did not turn up.
The SPF highlighted, "In this case, since the couple appeared cooperative when first engaged by the police, and had agreed to be interviewed, the police did not issue an order under the CPC. This is consistent with how Police deal with cases of a similar nature."
The police further noted that the couple left the country on Jun. 15, and have now made clear that they will not agree to be interviewed.
In a Facebook post on Mar. 7, Lee Hsien Yang said it would be unlikely for him to meet his sister Lee Wei Ling in Singapore face-to-face.
Top left Screenshot from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP YouTube, right screenshot via Lee Hsien Yang/Facebook