First no lawyers, now no trial

August 20, 2002
Singapore Democrats

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The Singapore Courts have decided that the lawsuits brought by the plaintiffs, Messrs Lee Kuan Yew (Senior Minister) and Goh Chok Tong (Prime Minister), against Dr Chee Soon Juan need not go to trial the cases have been decided in favour of the two plaintiffs.

All the Courts need to do now is to decide on the amount of damages and legal costs, which will amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, to be awarded to Messrs Lee and Goh.

The plaintiffs case to seek a summary judgment against Dr Chees was based on the fact that the latter did not have a defence and/or he had issued an apology to the plaintiffs.

Dr Chee submitted that he had, in fact, filed a defence and that the apology he gave to the plaintiffs was made under duress and intimidation. Dr Chee has since retracted his apology to the plaintiffs and provided evidence that he had, in fact, made the apology under duress and intimidation.

He also argued that under legal principles, when facts are disputed and there are real issues to be tried, the Courts cannot award summary judgment and must send the case for a full trial.

The Senior Assistant Registrar who heard the matter, decided not to allow the case to go to a full trial and awarded the case to Messrs Lee and Goh.

The Courts had first rejected Dr Chees applications to have Queens Counsels as his lawyers (no Singaporean lawyer would take up the case). Now it has decided to award the case to the plaintiffs without letting it go to trial.

Dr Chee has said he will appeal the decision.