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Lim Tean to represent TOC Editor Terry Xu against defamation suit by PM Lee

"Trial promises to be a fascinating court case as the saga of 38 Oxley Road ... will be at the centre of the litigation"

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Singapore — Opposition politician and lawyer Lim Tean will be representing the Editor of The Online Citizen Terry Xu against a defamation suit by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The trial will be from Nov 30 to Dec 4.

In a Facebook post on Thursday (Oct 15), Mr Lim wrote: “I am representing Terry Xu in the libel proceedings brought against him by Lee Hsien Loong in the High Court.”

I Am Representing Terry Xu In The Libel Proceedings Brought Against Him By Lee Hsien Loong In The High Court

Posted by Lim Tean on Thursday, 15 October 2020

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In his announcement, Mr Lim noted that “the upcoming trial promises to be a fascinating court case as the saga of 38 Oxley Road and the dispute between the Lee siblings, which erupted into the open in June 2017, will be at the centre of the litigation”.

What Initially Happened

On Sept 1, 2019, Mr Lee asked Mr Xu to remove an article and Facebook post published by TOC on Aug 15, 2019, repeating allegations of abuse of power that his sister Lee Wei Ling made in 2017.

Mr Lee also asked TOC to publish a “full and unconditional apology”, along with an undertaking that it would not publish similar allegations in the future, and warned that he will have no choice but to hand the matter over to his lawyers to sue to enforce his full rights in law if TOC did not comply.

On Sept 4, 2019, Mr Xu issued a letter acknowledging Mr Lee’s letter of demand and stated that he will not comply with the demands set out in Mr Lee’s letter.

The next day (Sept 5), Mr Lee’s lawyers served Mr Xu with a writ of summons and a statement of claim at his place of residence, initiating a defamation case against him.

On Sept 10, 2019, Mr Xu filed a memorandum of appearance with the High Court, in response to the writ of summons and statement of claim filed by Mr Lee’s lawyers. The memorandum of appearance indicates that Mr Xu will contest the defamation action.

Mr Xu said that he “would like to have the opportunity to ask my Prime Minister — straight in his face” why Mr Lee has chosen to sue him instead of his siblings when TOC merely republished the words uttered by his siblings in 2017. He added that he wished to question the Prime Minister on this in his capacity as a Singapore citizen. /TISG

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