You’d have seen this coming; you just didn’t expect it to be so fast.
Lest you’ve not been following the news, here’s what happened: last Sunday, PM Lee’s Press Secretary sent a letter to Terry Xu from alternative media site The Online Citizen (TOC). The letter alleges that an article is defamatory and therefore requested Terry to do these by 4 September 2019:
- Remove the article from his website
- Remove the Facebook post
- Publish an apology
- Not to publish these kinds of allegations again
The article in question was removed within hours while the Facebook post stayed online.
Yesterday, Terry confirmed that he won’t be complying with the request, and restored the article, adding a new paragraph at the end to inform readers about the allegations.
Terry claimed that the article wasn’t defamatory, though one part of it might be misinterpreted by readers. He then mentioned that he did “fear that the cost stemming from the possible legal suit…may be hefty,” but that was a price that he was willing to pay. He went on to proclaim his “love for Singapore and Singaporean.”
Today, at 3:51 pm., action was taken.
Terry Xu Served with a Writ of Summons with Statement of Claims
Before anything, here’s a reminder again: this isn’t remotely connected to the new fake news laws. It’s a civil case between PM Lee and Terry Xu: Terry Xu accused PM Lee of something and therefore PM Lee is suing him for defamation.
According to TOC’s Facebook Page, Terry was served a Writ of Summons, along with a Statement of Claim, today at 3:51 p.m. at his house.
This image was even “pinned” on the top of TOC Facebook Page.
The writ was served by law firm Davinder Singh Chambers on behalf of PM Lee.
A writ of summons is basically a court document by the person who’s going to sue (usually by his or her lawyer) to start the legal proceedings.
That typically comes with a statement of claim, which provides more information about the case and whatnot.
Terry technically has two choices: one is to either contest the claim (i.e. “Let’s let the judge decide!”) or not to contest the claim (i.e. “Okay, I pay you in damages lah. $0.50 can?”), in which the court would then decide the amount of damages he’d have to pay. Definitely not $0.50, methinks.
Based on TOC’s captions, Terry has eight days to “enter an appearance to defend the claim by PM Lee.”
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