Lee and Goh trying to avoid open hearing

November 2, 2004
Singapore Democrats

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Mr Lee Kuan Yew has applied for the hearing on 3 November 2004 to be heard in chambers instead of open court. In trying to decide whether Dr Chee Soon Juans application to recovene the hearing for damages should be granted, Judge Kan Ting Chiu had ordered Dr Chee to file an affidavit and state the reasons why Dr Chee was not able to attend the hearing that took place on 6 September 2004.

The judge also added that he would decide on the 3 November in open court whether Dr Chee should be called to the stand for cross-examination. All parties, including Mr Lee and Mr Goh, had agreed to the process and date. Dr Chee filed his affidavit more than two weeks ago.

Now the plaintiffs what to change things. Mr Lee Kuan Yew has applied for the hearing on 3 November to be heard in chambers (read as behind closed doors where the public and media cannot witness the proceedings).

In addition he has gotten the clerk of Drew & Napier yes, the one who runs around delivering court documents to other parties to file a 150-page affidavit.

Third, the clerks enormously thick affidavit was served on Dr Chee on 1 November 2004 just two days before the hearing.

This raises some very interesting questions:

One, why does Mr Lee insist on having the hearing heard in chambers? Why does he not dare to have the proceedings held in open court as the judge had determined?

Two, why did he ask the clerk to file the affidavit when the Drew & Napier employee has nothing to do with the lawsuit? Why didnt Mr Lee file the affidavit himself? After all Dr Chee filed his affidavit. Why cant the MM do the same?

Three, why file this enormous 150-page affidavit at the very last minute when he had more than two weeks to do it?

Lets do a quick recap: The two former prime ministers accused Dr Chee of running away and avoiding facing them in court. Dr Chee returned and made an application to reconvene the hearing.

The two former prime ministers now want Dr Chee to file an affidavit before theyll agree to have the hearing reconvened. Dr Chee filed his affidavit.

Now Mr Lee wants to have the hearing in chambers instead of in open court and has asked someone else to file an affidavit on his behalf.

If all this points to one thing, it is the continuing effort by the two former prime ministers to do anything and everything to avoid having the hearing reconvened and being cross-examined by Dr Chee.