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Gag Order – Installment 3 – Semen in her Underwear

The CID meeting room was sparsely furnished. Compressed-wood table with metal legs and foldable chairs. There were no windows and the place was sound-proofed. With a harsher fluorescent light, pulled low, the room could very well double for an interrogation cell.

‘A relationship is usually their first line of defense, Mr. Bronn,’ said Assistant Superintendent Tatyana Lee, ‘especially when they’re co-workers.’ She had passable good looks and, in her uniform, exuded officialdom. Her well manicured hands rested on the case file. And now and then, she rubbed her wedding band.

‘You’ve his laptop and hand phone,’ said Krasten Bronn, an American on a long-term employment pass and practicing law in Singapore.

It was sweltering outside but Krasten had chosen to wear a jacket to blunt the psychological edge the police wielded in their sharp blue attire and silver badges and buttons. He wore his trademark smile, the one that usually disarmed women but it apparently made no inroads here.

‘Nothing to confirm what the suspect claims,’ said ASP Lee. ‘No lovey-dovey emails, no text messages.’ She again tapped the case file, as if she was privy to secrets.

‘He could have erased them.’

‘We’re checking the hard disks,’ said ASP Lee, having anticipated his question. There was no hint of friendliness, no boy-scout style let’s ignore that we’re on opposite sides and work for justice.

‘How about telephone records?’ Krasten maintained a pleasant front but the policewoman remained impassive.

‘That thought did cross our minds, Mr Bronn, thank you,’ said ASP Lee, with a small sigh bordering on exasperation. ‘We’re checking. Meanwhile, let me help you.’ She opened the case file but held it at angle to prevent him peeping, and made a show of scanning some report.

‘Semen found in her underwear, and we have a DNA match,’ she said triumphantly, and slapped the file close.

‘That’s not surprising, considering they were lovers,’ said Krasten. ‘And was it wet?’

‘I beg your pardon!’ There was a hint of outrage.

Krasten deliberately paused, he will not be provoked into a quick retort but chose instead to unsettle her. After taking a moment, he said,

‘Was it a fresh sample or weeks old?’

‘Do you want us to carbon date it?’ asked ASP Lee, not exactly hiding her sarcasm.

‘I ask only because at their last meeting, when he purportedly committed the rape, their affair had already come to an end.’

‘And how would you know this?’

‘His wife Yeva Tee, ’ said Krasten. ‘He’d come clean with her, she’d forgiven him and they’d planned to rebuild their lives. My client met this Lavinia woman to tell her to stop harassing him.’

‘A rape is a rape, Mr Bronn.’ And the policewoman leaned back and folded her arms. That had the unintended effect of lifting up her small breasts.

Krasten knew she realised her mistake but being a typical Singaporean, she will not back down. That would be loosing face. She kept her arms folded.

He smirked and said, ‘Since his arrest, my client has been held incommunicado. When can I speak to him?’

‘Once we’re done.’ She casually picked up the file and held it to her chest. Face saved.

‘Why not now?’ asked Krasten, secretly enjoying her discomfort.

‘Our investigations are not complete.’

‘And meanwhile anything he says or coerced into saying will be used against him in court, am I right?’

‘We don’t coerce suspects,’ said ASP Lee, without batting an eyelid.

‘So why aren’t you people recording all the interviews,’ said Krasten, making parentheses in the air.

‘Welcome to Singapore, Mr. Bronn,’ said ASP Lee and hunched forward in a sort of a dare. ‘See you in court.’

‘You know what I like about you, Tatyana?’ said Krasten. ‘Your very original clichés.’ He stood up and straightened his sleeves.

‘ASP Lee, to you.’

Krasten clicked his lips and said, ‘Sure thing, Tatyana.’

***Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2017***

*** Join me next Wednesday, 21 June for the continuation ***