Court told foreign organisation helped to fund blogger Roy Ngerng’s defence

Roy Ngerng (right) walking into the Supreme Court, on July 3, 2015. — TODAY pic
Roy Ngerng (right) walking into the Supreme Court, on July 3, 2015. — TODAY pic

SINGAPORE, July 3 — An organisation in London had provided £5,000 (RM29,333) to blogger Roy Ngerng to fund the legal suit that he is facing for defaming Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Another London organisation and a Norway university also paid for his recent trips overseas.

These details were revealed today during the third and final day of the hearing to assess the damages that Ngerng has to pay Lee.

Taking the stand, Ngerng was cross-examined by Lee’s lawyer, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh.

Questioning the blogger on his sources of funding for the suit, Singh pointed out that Ngerng had stated in his affidavit tendered to the High Court that he has limited financial means.

Ngerng had managed to raise S$110,000 (RM306,235) from the public in June, Singh noted. He asked Ngerng how the money was spent.

In response, Ngerng — who broke down in tears twice during this morning’s session — said he used S$70,000 to pay M. Ravi, one of his lawyers he had engaged for the case.

He also used S$29,000 to pay costs to Lee’s lawyers.

Another S$6,000 was used in his failed application for a Queen Counsel to represent him in the assessment of damages hearing.

The blogger said he used his savings to fund the suit as well, apart from public donations.

Pressed by Singh, Ngerng said he also sought financial assistance from a London organisation called Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI).

He said he was introduced to this organisation by Ravi. Apart from providing him with money, MLDI also gave him legal advice, Ngerng said.

He added that another organisation in London called Article 19 paid for his trip to London to meet MLDI.

Before his trip to London, he was in Norway to speak at a university — a trip that was paid by the university which had invited him be a speaker at the International Student Festival in Trondheim, Ngerng said.

The trial continues in the afternoon. — TODAY

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