Why was Judge called to deal with “security interference”?

May 13, 2008
Singapore Democrats

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Something strange happened in court yesterday. In the middle of arguments after lunch, the court orderly walked in and handed Judge Belinda Ang a note.

The Judge scrutinised it and suddenly told parties that she needed to adjourn the hearing for a few minutes. She abruptly stood up and walked into her inner chamber.

A few minutes later, the court bailiff gathered everyone around and announced that there was a “security interference” and ordered counsels and defendants to turn off their cellphones.

Dr Chee asked the officer to clarify the situation: “What’s this ‘security interference’ all about?”

The bailiff started to explain but Mr Davinder Singh, the Lees’ counsel, cut him off: “Let the Judge explain it.”

When the session resumed, Dr Chee asked the Judge what the fuss was about.

“Its just a security interference…” she repeated, sounding very uncertain. “I don’t know, lah…it’s just some security thing…I don’t know…”

She was called away very urgently to deal with a “security” matter and she didn’t know what it was about?

Why was the Judge needed to handle a security issue, anyway? Her job is to listen to legal arguments. She has enough bailiffs to handle security matters.

Besides there was a team of 10 to 15 plainclothes officers milling around outside her courtroom to take care of Mr Lee Hsien Loong when he arrived in court.

Did the interference have anything to do with Mr Lee’s security?

Why were only those in her chambers told to turn off their cellphones? If it was “security interference” why were those outside not told to do the same? There were scores of journalists, police officers, members of the public all freely using their mobile phones.

Again, why did the call go to the Judge and not to those in charge of the Court’s security system?