In two separate Facebook posts over the weekend (Dec 5,6), lawyer Lim Tean summed up the trials for both of his clients Terry Xu and Leong Sze Hian, who were embroiled in suits against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
On Saturday (Dec 5), the day after a week-long trial between The Online Citizen Editor Terry Xu and PM Lee, Mr Lim wrote: “The defamation proceedings Lee Hsien Loong launched against Terry Xu, and which came to trial this week, was very much about 38 Oxley Road, including the now famous demolition clause in Lee Kuan Yew’s various Wills”.
He added that voluminous evidence surrounding the controversy was tested in some detail in a public forum.
“I believe my cross-examination of Lee Hsien Loong revealed new aspects of the controversy which Singaporeans were hitherto unaware of”, Mr Lim wrote. He added that it was only when she spoke during the proceedings, that the public was able to hear for the first time from Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s lawyer, Kwa Kim Li.
“More could have been learnt from her if she had not claimed legal privilege to many of the questions which we had intended to pose to her in court”, Mr Lim wrote.
He added that he came into the picture very late on Mr Xu’s case, with only 6 weeks to go before trial.
The case involves a TOC article published in August last year, which referenced a Facebook post by Dr Lee, in which she claimed PM Lee had misled their late father, founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, into thinking 38 Oxley Road had been gazetted by the Government.
On Sept 1 last year (2019), PM Lee’s press secretary sent Mr Xu a letter asking him to take the article down and issue a “full and unconditional apology”. PM Lee initiated legal proceedings after Mr Xu refused to do so.
In another Facebook post on Sunday (Dec 6), Mr Lim shared a clip with a short statement made outside Court after the hearing where Final Oral Arguments were made in Lee Hsien Loong v Leong Sze Hian.
Mr Lim said: “We had very good oral arguments before Justice Aedit Abdullah this afternoon”.
He added that the judge will now deliberate before handing down a written argument. He added that he was very happy with the written arguments.
Mr Lim said that the judge understood that the law cannot be applied rigidly because “social media is a casual medium”.
PM Lee is suing Mr Leong for sharing an article from the Malaysian news site The Coverage.
The article had falsely linked PM Lee to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption scandal in Malaysia. /TISG