Walter Woon goes after Gopalan Nair for contempt

November 1, 2008
Singapore Democrats

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Attorney-General Walter Woon has turned his attention on Mr Goplan Nair again and wants to start contempt proceedings against the former Singaporean and now US citizen.

Mr Nair is still serving his three-month prison for “insulting” High Court Judge Belinda Ang over her presiding of the defamation hearing between Mr Lee Kuan Yew and the Singapore Democrats.

Mr Woon is citing Mr Nair for criticising District Judge James Leong in his blog the Singapore Dissident. Mr Leong had presided over a trial in which Mr Nair was charged for disorderly behaviour.

In a media release, the AG’s Chambers said:

In the course of the trial, the Respondent attacked the independence and impartiality of the Singapore Judiciary and District Judge Leong by stating, inter alia, that the courts were being abused for political ends.

The Respondent has also attacked the independence and impartiality of the Singapore Judiciary and District Judge Leong in his web log (“blog”) “Singapore Dissident” at http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com/ through his following two blog posts:

(i) a blog post titled “Another classic case of trying to use the courts to silence dissents”, dated 1 September 2008;

(ii) a blog post titled “Convicted”, dated 6 September 2008.

Mr Nair was a former opposition candidate and practicing lawyer in Singapore. He left Singapore in the 1980s and settled in California.

The AG has launched a series of contempt proceedings against critics. The Wall Street Journal Asia, Dow Jones, and three activists who donned kanagroo T-shirts have all been charged with contempt of court.

Watch video of Gopalan Nair’s message before imprisonment here.