Jailed Norwegian fined after retrial

Taxi-Singapore

Photo: Terence Ong

Norwegian Arne Corneliussen’s has been fined $2,000 after retrial, reports news.asiaone.com, based on a charge of causing hurt by wrapping his arm around the neck of a cab driver. This marks the end of his one-and-a-half-year-long ordeal, dating back to September 2014.

This was a lesser charge compared to his previous charge of causing hurt by grabbing taxi driver Chan Chuan’s neck and choking him at the Boat Quay area after a night of drinking on Sept 22, 2014. For that, he was sentenced to 10 weeks’ jail last April.

He admits guilt over hurting a cabby. Now, Arne Corneliussen (Singapore permanent resident) wants to put the entire incident behind him.

So much so that the Norwegian national is willing to forgo the $30,000 he had paid taxi driver Chan Chuan Heng as compensation.

Before his first conviction last year, he had met Chan and given him the $30,000 as compensation for costs incurred by Chan’s injuries and inability to work.

But he told The New Paper he is still not ready to forgive the cabby for his part in the incident, which caused him to lose his job and spend nearly six weeks in prison on a conviction that was later quashed.

Said Corneliussen, 51, yesterday: “Do I forgive him? That is a good question because I still don’t know how I feel about that.”

The added: “I have given this a lot of thought and in a way, I don’t wish to blame (Chan) any longer.

“He is going through his own trial. It’s his turn now.”

Last September, Chan was charged with causing hurt and providing false information to the police. His case is still before the courts.

Corneliussen added that he also does not fault the police and the prosecution as they had “worked with all information they had at the time”.

His case took a dramatic turn a month later when two new witnesses said Chan was the one who had attacked Corneliussen.

Corneliussen and Chan had a disagreement over the taxi fare as the cabby had wanted to charge a flat fee rather than use the meter, according to witnesses’ testimonies.

The witnesses had left the scene before police arrived and reacted only months later, after reading a newspaper report about Corneliussen’s conviction.

The new evidence led to the quashing of his initial sentence.

Corneliussen was released after spending five and a half weeks in jail – more than half his original sentence – and his case was sent back to the courts.

In the State Courts the prosecution recognised that Corneliussen had already served nearly six weeks in jail, but submitted that a deterrent sentence is necessary.

He was fired from his previous job as a director with DHL and has been unemployed since December 2014.

When he was sacked, he had been working at the international logistics company for 29 years.

He also incurred a hefty legal fee and his personal reputation was affected, he said.

Source: news.asiaone.com

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