Orchard Towers death: Three suspects have murder charges withdrawn

Seven people were arrested for the murder of a 31-year-old man at Orchard Towers on 2 July, 2019. (Screencaps of CCTV footage, social media)

SINGAPORE — Three men who were allegedly part of a group that caused the death of a man at Orchard Towers last week have had their murder charges withdrawn in their second court appearance on Thursday (11 July).

Tan Hong Sheng, 22, Chan Jia Xing, 26, and Loo Boon Chong, 25, each had their charges of murder with common intention replaced with the charge of consorting with a wanted man, co-accused Tan Sen Yang, 27. who had in his possession a foldable Kerambit knife.

Tan and Chan were each offered bail of $25,000, while Loo was offered bail of $15,000.

The charges for the remaining three men and one woman remain the same.

The three men are Tan Sen Yang, Joel Tan Yun Sheng, 26, and Ang Da Yuan, 26. The woman is 22-year-old Natalie Siow Yu Zhen. Each was charged with one count of murder with common intention over the alleged killing of 31-year-old Satheesh Noel Gobidass on 2 July at the entrance of Orchard Towers.

All seven were initially charged in court a day after the incident, and were remanded for a week to assist in investigations. Various media reports stated that some of them have been brought back to Orchard Towers in a scene visit.

Five from the group were newly-represented by lawyers for their second appearance in court.

Joel Tan, Tan Hong Sheng and Chan are now represented by lawyers Josephus Tan, Cory Wong and Shane Yeo from Invictus Law. Chan, previously the only one represented, has since changed counsel.

Loo is represented by Diana Ngiam from Quahe Woo and Palmer, while Siow is represented by lawyer Cheryl Ng from Intelleigen Law and Amarick Gill from Amarick Gill law firm.

Joel Tan, Ang and Siow will be remanded for psychiatric assessment for three weeks. The trio, together with Tan Hong Sheng, Chan and Loo, will return to court on 1 August.

Tan Sen Yang will be remanded for one week to assist in investigations and will return to court on 18 July. The prosecution applied for him to be remanded as he is involved in other cases.

If convicted on their charges, Tan Hong Sheng, Chan and Loo each face a mandatory minimum of six strokes of the cane and up to three years' jail.

Murder is punishable by the death penalty.

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