Li Shengwu’s Singapore lawyers to challenge court order

Li Shengwu is seen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 12, 2017. — Reuters pic
Li Shengwu is seen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 12, 2017. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, Dec 5 — Lawyers representing Li Shengwu, the nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, will be challenging an order the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) obtained that allowed it to personally serve him papers relating to his contempt of court case.

In a statement to the media yesterday, Li’s lawyer, Abraham Vergis of Providence Law, said that he also needed time to study the “novel grounds” the AGC had used, to justify its serving of papers outside of Singapore.

Li’s lawyers will have up to December 22 to file his application, which will subsequently be heard again at a pre-trial conference on January 4.

Vergis also did not elaborate on what the “novel grounds” were in his statement.

The alleged contempt surfaced in a private Facebook post made by Li, 32, on July 15.

In the post, the Harvard academic had shared a Wall Street Journal article on the dispute between his father, uncle and aunt Lee Wei Ling over his late grandfather founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s property at 38 Oxley Road.

He wrote that the Singapore government was “litigious” and has a “pliant court system”.

The AGC had written to Li six days after his July 15 post, requesting him to “purge the contempt” by deleting the post and issuing a written apology and undertaking on his Facebook page.

He did not do so, and the AGC filed an application for permission to start contempt of court proceedings in the High Court, which was granted on August 21.

Vergis was appointed as Li’s counsel on November 13.

TODAY has reached out to the AGC for comments.

Under the Administration of Justice (Protection) Act that came into force on October 1, those who commit contempt of the High Court or Court of Appeal can be fined up to S$100,000 (RM301,881.50), and/or jailed up to three years. — TODAY

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