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AGC not taking action against City Harvest pastor over tweets

The Attorney-General's Chambers is "satisfied" that Mr Tan Kim Hock has "substantively" complied with the requirements of its letter warning him of his contemptuous Twitter posts.

SINGAPORE: The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said on Wednesday (June 11) it will not be taking action against City Harvest Church pastor, Mr Tan Kim Hock, for posting two messages on Twitter that were deemed to have scandalised Singapore's judiciary system.

“We are satisfied that there has been substantive compliance with the requirements of our warning letter, and will not be taking any further action against Mr Tan Kim Hock,” an AGC spokesman said.

The AGC on June 3 told Mr Tan to remove two tweets and publish an apology on his Twitter account within seven days.  It said one of the tweets had insinuated that the State Courts gave The Straits Times newspaper “preferential and privileged access” to information on whether City Harvest Church leaders involved in an ongoing trial had a case to answer even before the decision was delivered by Judge See Kee Oon.

The tweet further insinuates the State Courts is “biased and unfair”, given that such treatment was not equally accorded to everyone else, the AGC said. It warned that publishing such insinuations could amount to contempt of court.

The second tweet cited the bible verse of Ecclesiastes 3:16. The AGC said the message insinuated that Singapore's courts are corrupt, including the court hearing the City Harvest Church leaders case.

"AGC takes the view that the insinuations set out in the two tweets are insinuations which scandalise the Judiciary of the Republic of Singapore. These insinuations are scurrilous, false, and made without any objective basis," it said in the June 3 statement.

An earlier check of Mr Tan's Twitter account, which has since been set to private, showed both tweets had been removed. He also made reference to one of the tweets deemed objectionable, tweeting: "On 6 May, I tweeted a bible verse. On hindsight, I realise that the tweet may be possibly misinterpreted and I have since removed it."

The AGC on Wednesday reminded members of the public not to publish comments that "undermine the confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore", and said it will take appropriate action against anyone committing contempt against the Singapore courts.

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