As indicated in my previous emails, I have returned to Singapore. There was never any question of my coming back. I said I would be back by mid-September and I have done exactly that. To suggest that I was not going to return to face MM Lee Kuan Yew and SM Goh Chok Tong in court was wishful thinking on the part of the two ministers.
It is most unfortunate for the plaintiffs to insist on, and for the courts to go along with, conducting the hearing for assessment for damages in my absence. What was the difficulty of delaying the matter by one week? What cataclysmic damage would the plaintiffs’ case suffer by waiting for a few days for me to return? Most important, why were Messrs Lee and Goh so desperate to avoid facing me in court that they had to push the case along with such unseemly haste?
I have been denied a lawyer, then not given a trial to defend myself, and now stopped from being present at the hearing to assess damages. The courts have decided presently that I will give my closing submissions on 20 September 2004. It is like accusing someone of murder, then denying him all his rights to a fair and open trial, and then asking him why he should not be hanged. This is very strange stuff.
In the interest of fairness and justice I will ask the judge to allow me to call MM Lee and SM Goh back to court for cross-examination when I appear before him. The courts must hear the plaintiffs under cross-examination before it decides on the matter. Anything less would constitute a grave travesty of justice in Singapore.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party