Judge Ang confirms that hearing will be in open court

May 8, 2008
Singapore Democrats

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Judge Belinda Ang today confirmed that the hearing for assessment of damages in the lawsuit between Mr Lee Kuan Yew/Mr Lee Hsien Loong versus SDP will be held in open court.

The SDP has been pushing the courts for several days to make up its mind on whether the case will be conducted in open court or not.

The defendants have also applied for the Judge to recuse herself from hearing the matter because of the controversy over the summary judgment in 2006 where she awarded the case to the Lees without the defence counsel being present.

The Lees have applied to strike out the defendants’ Affidavit Evidence-in-Chief (AEIC) as well as the supporting AEIC from former solicitor-general Mr Francis Seow, claiming that the AEICs were “scandalous and irrelevant.”

The AEICs lay out the defendants’ case as to why the Judge should not award the kind of damages claimed by the plaintiffs.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew attempted a similar stunt in his lawsuit against the late Mr Devan Nair in Canada. Mr Nair had countersued Mr Lee who then applied for a court order to dismiss Mr Nair’s countersuit because it was “scandalous, vexatious or an abuse of process of the Court.”

The Canadian judge dismissed Mr Lee’s application and pointedly noted that “Lee’s action is brought in a country that prides itself in allowing freedom of expression.”

Mr Lee did not pursue the lawsuit. Shortly thereafter, Mr Nair passed away.

The defendants have indicated that they would like to have this striking out application by the Lees heard in open court as the matter is of public interest.

Judge Ang has indicated that she would deal with the defendants’ applications for recusal and for the striking-out hearing to be in open court on Monday, 12 May itself.