Contempt of court trials begin tomorrow

Singapore Democrats

The trial for contempt of court against Mr John Tan, Mr Shafi’ie and Mr Isrizal will commence tomorrow at 10 am in Hight Court 6B. The three were charged for wearing T-shirts with a picture of a kangaroo. The hearing is expected to last from 4-6 Nov 08.

Attorney-General Walter Woon is asking for imprisonment or “other punishment as the court may impose”, and for the cost of the legal action.

In meantime, the trial of the 18 Tak Boleh Tahan (TBT) activists in the Subordinate Courts has been adjourned because the contempt case was scheduled in the midst of the TBT trial (23 Oct 08-7 Nov 08) Mr Tan and Mr Shafi’ie are among the defendants.

The three are charged for wearing the T-shirts within and in the vicinity of the Supreme Court building when a hearing was being held before Judge Belinda Ang for the assessment of damages payable by Dr Chee Soon Juan, Ms Chee Siok Chin and the SDP to Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Lee Hsien Loong.

In addition, Mr Tan is also cited for pointing to the picture of a kangaroo on his T-shirt and saying, “This is a kangaroo court” to Mr Lee Kuan Yew when the Minister Mentor walked past him outside the courtroom.

Mr Tan also pointed out that had it not been the Straits Times that first published the photograph with the “kangaroo three” and the current legal actions from the AG, the wearing of the T-shirts itself would never have impugned the reputation of the Singapore Judiciary.

Also starting tomorrow is the trial of Dow Jones, which publishes Wall Street Journal Asia (WSJA), Mr Daniel Hertzberg, Editor of WSJA, and Ms Christine Glancey, Managing Editor of WSJA.

The AG’s Chambers are accusing the newspaper of alleging that the Singapore Judiciary is not independent, and that it is biased and lacks integrity by publishing three articles involving Dr Chee Soon Juan.

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