Prominent blogger Leong Sze Hian’s defense lawyer has revealed that they are planning on applying to strike out Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s defamation claim, after both sides met for the first pre-trial conference in the High Court, this morning.
Earlier, PM Lee commenced legal proceedings against Leong for defamation after the latter shared an article on his Facebook page that alleged that the head of government helped launder 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.
Leong, who initially said that he was “bewildered” by PM Lee’s actions, later said that he is fighting the claims against him in court. Besides filing a defence, Leong also filed a counterclaim against PM Lee for “abusing the process of the court in bringing the claim against me.”
According to CNA, Drew and Napier’s Davinder Singh, who is representing PM Lee, reportedly told the court that they have applied to strike out the counterclaim by Leong, “on the ground that it has no basis in law and is completely hopeless”.
Leong’s defense counsel has since said that they informed the registrar at the pre-trial conference that they, too, intend to apply to strike out PM Lee’s defamation claim. Carson Law Chambers, which is representing Leong, released this statement after the pre-trial conference today:
Both sides will return for another pre-trial conference on 31 Jan, before a judge hears both applications to strike out the other’s claims on 25 Feb.