September 4, 2008 / 1:49 AM / 11 years ago

Tycoon jailed 2 hours for organ trading: paper

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore retail tycoon Tang Wee Sung was Wednesday jailed for two hours and fined S$17,000 ($11,850) for lying to get approval for a kidney transplant and for organ trading, the Straits Times newspaper said.

He had been sentenced to jail for a day, but was set free by the end of the business day, the paper said Thursday.

Tang, who stepped down as executive chairman of retail chain C.K. Tang after his conviction last week, was given a short sentence due to his “extreme ill health,” the Straits Times cited the sentencing judge as saying.

Tang’s lawyer had argued that his client suffers from a host of medical problems including kidney failure, heart disease, and sleep apnea, and might not survive in prison, the paper said.

Tang, 56, had earlier pleaded guilty to organ trading and lying that Indonesian Sulaiman Damanik was a relative, and was donating a kidney to Tang for free.

The transaction was never completed. Sulaiman was fined S$1,000 for organ trading and jailed for two weeks in June.

The controversial case was the subject of heated debate on the ethics of organ-trading in Singapore, and prompted the government of the wealthy city-state to announce it was studying the idea of legalizing compensation for organ donors.

Reporting by Daryl Loo; Editing by David Fogarty

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