SINGAPORE: Singapore’s prime minister testified in courtroom on Tuesday in his defamation case in opposition to a blogger who shared an internet article linking him to Malaysia’s 1MBD money-laundering scandal.
As the top of a authorities that has pledged zero tolerance of corruption, Lee Hsien Loong, 68, isn’t any stranger to looking for to guard his fame through authorized channels.
Lee is suing monetary adviser Leong Sze Hian, 66, over a since-deleted November 2018 Facebook submit that linked to an article by Malaysian information web site, the Coverage.
Lee informed the courtroom the article’s accusations have been a “grave attack” on his personal integrity and fame and that of the Singapore authorities, in remarks reported by home media.
Lee’s legal professionals have beforehand stated Leong shared the submit “maliciously” to wreck their shopper, which Leong has denied.
For a number of hours on Tuesday, Leong’s lawyer questioned Lee as to why he selected to sue his shopper, a frequent commentator and critic of presidency insurance policies, and never the unique creator and others who shared the article.
Lee, the world’s best-paid political chief, stated his determination adopted dialogue along with his lawyer and was the easiest way to vindicate his fame, in line with the Straits Times newspaper and broadcaster Channel InformationAsia.
The trial is predicted to run till the tip of the week.
Senior figures within the People’s Action Party, together with Lee’s late father and the founding father of modern-day Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, have beforehand sued international media, political opponents and on-line commentators for defamation.
Singapore retains tight controls of home media and adopted a ‘fake news’ regulation final yr that critics stated may additional erode free speech within the rich city-state. The authorities says it doesn’t curb reputable criticism or free speech.
Lee final took the stand in 2015 to reply questions from a blogger he had sued for implicating him in impropriety over the administration of funds in Singapore’s necessary retirement financial savings scheme.
In a twist forward of this week’s trial, Leong’s lawyer Lim Tean, who heads a small opposition occasion that unsuccessfully competed on this yr’s election, was arrested for alleged legal breach of belief.
Lim stated the arrest was politically motivated, which the police denied, and he was launched earlier than the listening to.