The lawyer who prepared six wills for the late Lee Kuan Yew is set to appear at the High Court on Thursday (Dec 3) to testify in a defamation suit against The Online Citizen (TOC) editor Terry Xu.
In a closed-door hearing on Thursday (Dec 3) morning, Justice Audrey Lim, the judge presiding over the trial dismissed Ms Kwa’s application to set aside the subpoena on her to testify.
Ms Kwa is set to take the stand at 2.45pm and be examined by Mr Xu’s lawyer, Lim Tean, and cross-examined by PM Lee’s personal lawyer, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh.
Mr Xu first applied to subpoena Ms Kwa on Oct 7 this year, a Straits Times online article reported. This came after he managed to obtain copies of documents that emerged during a disciplinary tribunal’s investigations into misconduct by Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s wife, senior lawyer Lee Suet Fern.
The documents included e-mails exchanged between Ms Kwa and the late Mr Lee in 2011 and 2012, which Mr Xu relied on on to show that the founding prime minister did believe his house had been gazetted and that Ms Kwa subsequently told him she could not find the gazette notice.
Ms Kwa, the niece of the late Mr Lee’s wife Kwa Geok Choo, is represented by lawyers from Drew and Napier. She was the lawyer tasked with drafting Mr Lee’s will and had admitted to being part of drafting six of the seven wills from 2011 to 2012.
“Kwa Kim Li (KKL) of Lee & Lee has denied involvement in the 2013 will. This is false”, said Dr Lee Wei Ling, daughter of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Aug 19), Dr Lee wrote that she had shared evidence to show Ms Kwa’s involvement in Mr Lee’s last will.
In her post, Dr Lee shared an email exchange between Ms Kwa and her late father, dated December 12, 2013.
In the email, Ms Kwa wrote: “Dear Uncle Harry, Under your present will dated 2 nov 2012, Ling has been given 1 share more than Loong and Yang, out of your total estate. This is because you reasoned that Ling does not have double income like her brothers”.
She added, “We discussed last week that you would now like to sign a Codicil to change this, and to give Ling equal shares with Loong and Yang out of the total estate”.
In 2017, Ms Kwa denied that she had a role in Mr Lee’s last will.
The managing partner of the Lee & Lee law firm had prepared the previous six versions of the will of the late Mr Lee who died on March 23, 2015, at the age of 91.
Ms Kwa told The Straits Times: “I did not prepare the last will”.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang also said in a Facebook post that his wife’s firm, Stamford Law Corporation – now known as Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC – did not draft any of the late Mr Lee’s wills.
“The will was drafted by Kwa Kim Li of Lee & Lee,” he said, referring to the sequence of events surrounding the final will.
He added that the will’s seventh paragraph, in which the late Mr Lee stated that he wanted his house to be demolished after his death, “was drafted at LKY’s (Lee Kuan Yew’s) direction”.
It was “put into language by Lee Suet Fern, his daughter-in-law, and when he was satisfied, he asked Kim Li to insert it into his will,” said Mr Lee Hsien Yang. -/TISG