Singapore — Opposition politician Lim Tean, the lawyer for blogger Leong Sze Hian, who is being sued for defamation by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has labelled the case “One Vs Five!”
In a Facebook post on Saturday (Oct 3), the lawyer from Carson Law Chambers shared a screengrab of the list of lawyers representing Mr Lee.
One Vs Five! In addition to dealing with police harassment on the eve of a big trial, I will be up against 5 lawyers…
He wrote: “In addition to dealing with police harassment on the eve of a big trial, I will be up against 5 lawyers representing Lee Hsien Loong in his defamation suit against Leong Sze Hian, which will be from 6-9 October in the High Court before Justice Aedit Abdullah. In other words, I will be flying solo for Leong Sze Hian.”
Mr Lee’s lawyers are Davinder Singh S/O Amar Singh, Lin Xianyang Timothy, Fong Cheng Yee David, Darveenia Rajula Rajah and Shannon Valencia Peh, all from Davinder Singh Chambers LLC.
Last Friday (Oct 2), Mr Lim, who is leader of the Peoples Voice party, was arrested in his office for suspected criminal breach of trust under the Penal Code. He is also being investigated for an alleged offence of unlawful stalking under the Protection from Harassment Act.
In a Facebook statement the same day, his lawyer M Ravi wrote: “3 police officers from the Commercial Affairs Department just barged into the office and arrested Lim Tean whilst he is preparing his case with Leong Sze Hian in his room for next Tuesday’s defamation trial to cross-examine the Prime Minister.”
Calling the arrest “unlawful”, Mr Ravi added: “Lim Tean protested when they placed the handcuff on him that his arrest is politically motivated.”
In a statement, the police said that the arrest was not politically motivated. “The police reject his allegations that the investigations are politically motivated. Mr Lim Tean’s alleged victims had filed police reports alleging serious offences by him against them, and the police have a duty to investigate the allegations.”
In his recent Facebook post, Mr Lim added: “The trial will be held in Court 4B and starts at 10am each day. The public can attend but, as seats will be limited, it will be on a first-come, first-in basis with a queue number system. The earlier you queue the better chance you will have of going into the court to watch proceedings”.
“Lee Hsien Loong is expected to be in the witness stand giving evidence on Tuesday and Wednesday,” he said.
The case started in December 2018, when Mr Lee sued Mr Leong after the blogger shared an article alleging that Mr Lee had helped former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak launder money.
The article, titled “Breaking News: Singapore Lee Hsien Loong Becomes 1MDB’s Key Investigation Target — Najib Signed Several Unfair Agreements With Hsien Loong In Exchange for Money Laundering”, was carried on Malaysian website The Coverage.
The article was originally published by the States Times Review but it was the version by The Coverage that Mr Leong shared on Facebook on Nov 7, 2018, without any accompanying caption. /TISG