PM Lee, Leong Sze Hian to file statements for defamation hearing in February

PM Lee, Leong Sze Hian to file statements for defamation hearing in February

Collage of Leong Sze Hian and Lee Hsien Loong
File photos of Mr Leong Sze Hian (left) and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. (Photos: Facebook/Leong Sze Hian, Tang See Kit)

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and blogger Leong Sze Hian will each have to file affidavits relating to a defamation suit Mr Lee has brought against Mr Leong.

Mr Leong's lawyer, Lim Tean, told Channel NewsAsia this after the second pre-trial conference for the case on Thursday (Jan 31).

Affidavits are written statements of fact signed by the party giving it, usually providing the party's account for the case in question.

READ: PM Lee sues blogger Leong Sze Hian for defamation over sharing of article

Mr Lim and Mr Lee's lawyer Davinder Singh emerged from a brief hearing in chambers, with Mr Singh declining comment.

"The judge has directed both Mr Leong and PM Lee's applications to be heard on the same day (in chambers) on Feb 25," Mr Lim told reporters in High Court.

Mr Lee's lawyers, led by Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, filed an application earlier this month to strike out a counterclaim by Mr Leong, in which he alleged that the prime minister's original claim of defamation against him was an abuse of court.

In response, Mr Leong filed an application last Friday to strike out the prime minister's original defamation claim, saying that the claim was "scandalous, frivolous or vexatious".

READ: Leong Sze Hian files defence and counterclaim against PM Lee over alleged defamation

The blogger is being sued for sharing a Facebook post with a link to an article alleging that Mr Lee helped launder money from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund.

The article alleged that Mr Lee was "complicit in criminal activity" relating to the scandal-hit state fund.

Mr Lim organised a rally at Hong Lim Park last Saturday, in which he compared Mr Leong to human rights activist Rosa Parks in this case, which he called "seminal".

Source: CNA/ll(cy)

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