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It seems that the Lees will appear in court ready to take the witness box and be cross-examined by the defendants. But with them, things are never quite what they seem.
Even as the declare their bravery through their media, behind the scenes they have been working to ensure that the cross-examination will be extensively curtailed.
Their lawyer, Mr Davinder Singh, will see to it that his clients won’t have to answer many questions. Expect this tactic when the Lees show up in court. A look at the summary of developments below will reveal how the Lees have been avoiding answering questions from the Singapore Democrats:
1. The Lees sued after the SDP announced that it was going to contest against Mr Khaw Boon Wan in the Sembawang GRC in the 2006 elections. The NKF scandal and how Mr Khaw handled its aftermath was going to be the main issue for the SDP.
2. But even before the campaigning could start, the Lees applied for and obtained a court injunction to prohibit the SDP from selling the party newspaper which contained the article about the NKF matter.
3. After the election, the Lees quickly filed for a summary judgment to prevent the case from going to open trial despite the fact that the defendants had filed our defence and ready to contest the Lees’ claims. This, however, didn’t stop the Lees’ from continuing to propagate the lie that the defendants did not have a defence.
4. Summary judgment was awarded in chambers despite the defendants’ lawyer not being present as he was ill.
5. Thus, the Lees escaped having to take the stand. This exposed Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s lie about going to the witness box and that “you can question me, not only on the particular defamatory issue, but all issues in my life.”
6. The next step was to determine the amount of damages the defendants would have to pay to the plaintiffs. This will take place during next week’s hearing.
7. But before this could occur, the Lees made an application to strike-out the defendants’ Affidavit of Evidence in Chief (AEIC) which crucially presents our case.
8. More importantly, however, the application, if successful, allows the plaintiffs to severely limit what the defendants can and cannot ask them when they go into the witness box next week.
9. This job will be carried out by Mr Davinder Singh, the Lees’ lawyer, so that the plaintiffs would not have to look bad by saying that they don’t want to answer the SDP’s questions.
10. In the meantime, the Lees issue a press statement accusing Dr Chee of delay tactics and trying to avoid cross-examining them. Again this is a lie thrown out to make the Lees’ look brave.
11. Not only that, the plaintiffs apply for the striking-out of the AEIC and insist that this application is dealt with immediately preceding the hearing to assess damages.
12. Despite having nearly half-a-year to do this, the plaintiffs decide to wait till the very last minute to make this application. When asked repeatedly to explain why, Mr Singh refused to answer.
13. The Lees’ plan is to ensure that the defendants will not have time to prepare for cross-examination because questions with and without the defence AEICs are very different.
14. It is ironic that even as they proclaim their sterling reputations, they rip their reputations apart with every sorry attempt they make to avoid a full and comprehensive cross-examination.
Watchpoint: For those who are able to attend the hearing next week, watch out for Mr Davinder Singh’s attempts to repeatedly object to questions put to the Lees. The plaintiffs need to look good taking on the SDP while avoiding to answer all the important questions. To this end the local media will be on hand to oblige.