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Singapore private Investigator

SINGAPORE: A private investigator has claimed that he was abused and handcuffed by a Certis Cisco officer outside the Embassy of Israel while he was investigating an alleged adultery case, and is suing the security company and its employee Chua Geok Teck for assault and wrongful arrest.

Mr Simon Suppiah Sunmugam, 62, was conducting surveillance around the vicinity of Stevens Road and Dalvey Road on March 10, 2009, when the alleged abuse took place, the High Court heard on the first day of hearings on Tuesday.

Mr Sunmugam said that he had not been aware the embassy was nearby as there are no signs indicating it was a restricted place.

In court papers, the former police officer claimed that on the day of the incident, a male Caucasian employee of the embassy’s security department had first approached him. Mr Sunmugam had said that he was waiting for someone, and Mr Chua was alerted to the incident.

Mr Sunmugam claimed that Mr Chua had approached him in an aggressive manner and he was accused of being a suspected terrorist.

He added that Mr Chua then violently handcuffed his right wrist and swiped at his feet, causing him to fall face down onto the ground. Throughout the incident, Mr Sunmugam did not declare that he is a private investigator.

In court, Mr Sunmugam said he was restrained for 30 minutes and his handcuffed hand was yanked many times, causing him tremendous pain. As a result, he was emotionally and psychologically disturbed for a year, he said.

The court also heard that Mr Sunmugam had his injuries captured on video and photographs.

During cross—examination, defence lawyer Gary Low said that Mr Sunmugam’s account is "completely inconsistent" with his case.

He told Mr Sunmugam: "Your account is wholly unbelievable and grossly exaggerating", and noted that Mr Sunmugam’s medical report following the incident indicated that he was "discharged well without the need for a follow up".

The court also heard that Mr Sunmugam had insulted Mr Chua by saying he is "lowly educated" and is "not a real policeman", while Mr Chua had remained polite.

Mr Low added that when Mr Chua attempted to reach for Mr Sunmugam’s bag, Mr Sunmugam shoved Mr Chua’s hand away and caused the latter to fall. Mr Sunmugam disagreed with Mr Low, saying he neither insulted nor pushed Mr Chua.

The hearing continues on Wednesday.

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