PM Lee to testify in court if defamation suit against TOC editor Terry Xu goes to trial

PM Lee to testify in court if defamation suit against TOC editor Terry Xu goes to trial

PM Lee Hsien Loong and Terry Xu
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and The Online Citizen editor Terry Xu. (Photos: TODAY, Jeremy Long) 

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will testify if a defamation suit against The Online Citizen (TOC) editor Terry Xu goes to trial, as the allegations are "completely false", Mr Lee's press secretary said in a statement on Tuesday (Sep 10) night.

The Prime Minister is suing TOC editor Xu Yuanchen, also known as Terry Xu, for defamation over an article published last month that repeated allegations made by Mr Lee's siblings in the Oxley Road dispute.

Mr Lee filed the suit because "the allegations are completely false", his press secretary Chang Li Lin said. 

"If there is a trial, PM Lee will testify in court. His siblings can decide, together with Mr Xu, whether they too will testify, and repeat the allegations in court," said Ms Chang in the statement.

"The court can then establish the facts."

READ: Court documents claim PM Lee 'suffered loss and damage' following publication of The Online Citizen article

The article, titled "PM Lee's wife, Ho Ching weirdly shares article on cutting ties with family members", sets out a purported sequence of events involving the Prime Minister and his sister Lee Wei Ling over the dispute for the family home at 38 Oxley Road.

After being served a letter to take down the article and a related Facebook post, Mr Xu removed the article on Sep 1, but reinstated it three days later.

“I am of the opinion that the contents of the article are not defamatory," he said in a letter then.

PM Lee's lawyers have filed a statement of claim saying that the article has "gravely injured in his character and reputation".

In court documents seen by CNA, Mr Lee's lawyers claimed that the offending article said that Mr Lee had misled his father, founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, into thinking that the 38 Oxley Road property had been gazetted by the Singapore Government, and that it was futile for the elder Mr Lee to insist on demolishing the house.

PM Lee's sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, also repeated these claims in a new Facebook post on Tuesday.

Source: CNA/hm(dt)

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