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Dr Chee, secretary-general of the SDP, was at the subordinate courts in the morning when he was fined $5,000 or, in default, five weeks in jail for speaking in public during the election period in April 2006. Mr Yap Keng Ho was fined $2,000 or 10 days in jail for the same offence.
Lawyer M. Ravi, who represented Dr Chee and Mr Yap, immediately applied for stay of execution and both were allowed bail of $5,000.
In the afternoon, Dr Chee appeared at the high court to face the contempt of court charges with Ms Chee.
Ms Chee was represented by Mr Ravi while Dr Chee told Judge Belinda Ang that Mr J B Jeyaretnam had agreed to represent him but was not in Singapore for the hearing.
He sought an an adjournment so that Mr Jeyaretnam could attend court. Judge Ang gave Dr Chee until Monday morning at 10 am for Mr Jeyaretnam to appear.
But she proceeded to hear Ms Chee’s case, calling on Mr Ravi to present his submissions. Mr Ravi made the case that contempt of court charges were preferred only as a last resort when the party had disrupted court proceedings and prevented it from carrying on. In Ms Chee’s case there was no such development.
If fact, the Judge had not cautioned Ms Chee at any point during the hearing. Drawing on a football analogy, Mr Ravi said that there was no yellow card produced during the incident and the red card was shown after the final whistle had been blown.
Judge Ang was not moved and found Ms Chee guilty and asked Mr Ravi to address her “on the appropriate punishment” that should be meted out to his client. Mr Ravi asked for time to look into this matter.
The Judge reserved sentencing to Monday morning at 10am when she would also hear Dr Chee’s case.