SINGAPORE (Dec 8): The legal team from WongPartnership, led by deputy chairman Tan Chee Meng, has discharged itself from representing alleged penny stock saga mastermind John Soh Chee Wen.

See: Prosecutors confirm links between ISR Capital and John Soh

Tan had represented Soh since January 2016, when the Malaysian businessman first appeared in court to ask that his impound passport be released. Soh’s reason was that he wanted to return to Malaysia to attend his son’s wedding. His application was turned down.

See: John Soh to appear in court, seeks leave to return to Malaysia

Soh was subsequently arrested on Nov 24 and charged the following day. He is currently in remand and faces 188 charges, from stock manipulation and cheating to witness tampering. For over a year, WongPartnership has been representing Soh in legal proceedings to decide if Soh should be granted bail. No trial has been fixed for Soh’s charges.

See: Penny stock saga’s alleged mastermind John Soh denied bail; faces total of 188 charges

See also: John Soh could face longest-ever jail term for financial crime in Singapore

Soh’s case was last heard on Aug 7. His lawyers were trying to secure additional documents from the prosecutors to put together a better case for his bail hearing.

This bid was rejected. A subsequent hearing had been set for Nov 22, but did not take place. A new hearing is scheduled for Feb 21 next year.

See: John Soh fails in bid to gain access to additional documents from prosecutors

In 2013, the stocks of Blumont Group, LionGold Corp and Asiasons Capital (since renamed Attilan Group) had surged and then plummeted, wiping out about $8 billion in market value. Authorities have described this saga as “the largest market manipulation case in Singapore’s history.