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Blogger Leong Sze Hian to file application to strike out PM Lee's defamation claim

Blogger Leong Sze Hian to file application to strike out PM Lee's defamation claim

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

SINGAPORE: Blogger Leong Sze Hian's lawyer intends to file an application to strike out Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's original claim of defamation against his client.

Mr Lim Tean, who represents Mr Leong, told Channel NewsAsia that he would file the application by this week after lawyers on both sides met for the first pre-trial conference in High Court on Monday (Jan 21).

Mr Lim of Carson Law Chambers told the media after the brief conference that the session was to find out how far along both parties are in litigation.

Mr Davinder Singh of Drew and Napier, who represents PM Lee, told the court that they have filed an application to strike out a counterclaim by Mr Leong, Mr Lim said.

READ: PM Lee files application to strike out blogger's counterclaim

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

Mr Leong had filed a counterclaim alleging that the Prime Minister's defamation suit against him was "an abuse of the process of the court".

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

After Mr Leong filed the counterclaim, PM Lee's lawyers made an application to strike out the counterclaim "on the ground that it has no basis in law and is completely hopeless".

On Monday, Mr Lim told reporters that he informed the registrar at the pre-trial conference that he too intends to file an application to strike out the Prime Minister's original claim of defamation.

Another pre-trial conference will take place on Jan 31, and a judge will hear both sides' striking-out applications on Feb 25.

Mr Singh declined comment when approached.

In response to media queries, PM Lee's press secretary Chang Li Lin said that "as happens in some other cases, the parties agreed that the application will be heard by a High Court judge" on Feb 25.

Source: CNA/ll(mn)


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