New evidence surfaces in Yang Yin saga
THE Yang Yin saga, which had fallen off the radar some months back, is back under the spotlight, thanks to new evidence produced in court on Tuesday.
Wealthy widow Chung Khin Chun, 89, and her niece Hedy Mok, 62, have tracked down a star witness - the personal banker who served Madam Chung and former tour guide Yang Yin.
The key witness has given written testimony that the money that Yang claimed was gifted to him by the widow was, in fact, held in trust so that he could look after her.
Madam Mok, a tour agency owner, had sued Yang in the High Court in 2014 for allegedly manipulating her aunt into handing over control of her assets - estimated to be worth $40 million, including a Gerald Drive bungalow.
The new evidence, which was submitted at a closed-door pre-trial conference at the High Court on Tuesday, has prompted the court to set new trial dates so that Yang has time to prepare his rebuttal. The trial was to have started in March.
"The new trial is likely to be held next year," said Madam Mok's lawyer Peter Doraisamy.
In court papers seen by The Straits Times, the former bank relationship manager described Madam Chung as a "high net worth customer" whom he attended to in 2009 when she visited the bank with Yang.
Madam Chung had updated her bank and investment accounts to make Yang a joint account holder with full access, changes that the bank approved.
"At all times, there was no mention (by Madam Chung) that the first defendant (Yang) could use any of Madam Chung's monies for his own, save for the monthly sum of $5,000 to pay for his personal expenses while he resides in Singapore," said the witness in his affidavit.
"I assisted with the transactions on the understanding that the funds would be used by the first defendant (Yang) to take care of Madam Chung."
His statement contradicts Yang's claim that the monies were gifts from Madam Chung because she treated him as her "grandson".
In his affidavit, the witness said he also handled the purchase of two endowment plans by Madam Chung and Yang in 2010.
The plans were bought on the agreement between Madam Chung and Yang that the widow's estate is the "ultimate beneficiary" in the event of her death and Yang would hold the policies as trustee, added the witness.
They are now the subject of a High Court tussle between Yang and Madam Mok.
In April, the High Court allowed Yang to dip into the policies, worth about $98,000, to pay for his legal fees.
Madam Mok has appealed against the High Court decision to release the insurance policies and the appeal will be heard next month.