High Court Judge Belinda Ang has rejected Dr Chee Soon Juan’s application to reconvene the hearing for the assessment of damages in the case against Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Lee Hsien Loong.
The Lees have sued the SDP, Dr Chee and Ms Chee Siok Chin for defamation over an article in The New Democrat, the party’s newsletter, comparing the running of the National Kidney Foundation and Singapore.
Dr Chee made the application after Mr Lee Kuan Yew had told the court that the president of the International Bar Association (IBA) had written a letter complimenting Singapore’s judiciary. (see here)
This turned out to be false as the IBA said that it had not done so. In fact it later released a report that criticised the judicial system and the violation of human rights in Singapore.
Mr Lee, in an about-face, then ran down the organization and accused it of, among other things, trying to do Singapore in. (see here)
In any event, Mr Davinder Singh, Mr Lee’s lawyer, then tried to explain that Mr Lee’s reference to the IBA letter was an “inaccuracy” and objected to the reconvening of the hearing. (see here)
Mr Lee had testified under oath about the IBA letter and Dr Chee had asked to cross-examine Mr Lee further in court to determine if Mr Lee had misled the court.
In a letter from the Supreme Court todayJudge Belinda Ang “directed that no further hearing is required.” (see below).
The press has blacked out the entire episode. As with many other matters, Singaporeans have been kept in the dark and continue to read only positive news about Mr Lee and the PAP. Such a situation cannot be good for Singapore and its future.
In another matter, Dr Chee had asked the Subordinate Court to postpone his current trial for speaking in public without a permit.
This was because he has two court appeals pending and a another case in which he is charged with 18 others for conducting the Tak Boleh Tahan! protest on 15 Mar 08.
“I stand ready to defend myself but I need time to prepare for these matters,” Dr Chee told District Court Judge Thian Sze Yee. “For the sake of justice, I should not be overwhelmed with the cases all at once.”
Dr Chee asked for the trial to be adjourned until his appeal for his previous charge has been heard. Judge Thian rejected his request and directed the case to continue tomorrow, 18 Jul 08. She gave the defendant three days to look for a lawyer.
Dr Chee will have to appear in another court tomorrow for a pre-rial conference with the other activists for the latest charge. The group has approached the Law Society for assistance.
Letter from Registrar of Supreme Court
17 July 2008
Dear Dr Chee,
SUIT NOS. 261 AND 262 OF 2006
We refer to your letters received on 8 and 10 July 2008 addressed to Justice Belinda Ang concerning the above suits.
Please be informed that after having considered both your letters and the Plaintiffs’ letters of 9 and 14 July 2008, Justice Ang directed that no further hearing is required.
Supreme Court, Singapore
cc: Messrs Drew & Napier LLC