By The Online Citizen
The Attorney General's Office today made an extraordinary application for the court to remind Mr Alan Shadrake of his right to seek leave of court if he wants to exit the jurisdiction.
The implication is that if the defense makes the application to be allowed to leave the jurisdiction, the prosecution will not contest it.
Alan Shadrake was sentenced to six weeks jail and $20,000 fine last Tuesday after having been found guilty of scandalizing the Singapore judiciary with his book Once A Jolly Hangman. He appealed against the sentence on 18th Nov 2010.
"It is unprecedented for the prosecution to apply to the order of court to remind the defense that he can make this application," said Shadrake's lawyer M Ravi. "Any defense counsel is obviously aware that this route is available to a defendant that is not living in Singapore but the Attorney General in most circumstances would contest it."
When contacted, Shadrake said he would consider the offer.
"I'm looking forward to spending Christmas with my family in London but I haven't made up my mind," he said.
UPDATE: Tuesday, 23 November, 18.30 hrs:
Alan Shadrake applies to the High Court to leave Singapore. In a letter to the Court Registrar, Shadrake's lawyer, M Ravi said:
"We refer .. to the Order made in court on 22 November 2010 by His Honour, Justice Quentin Loh. Pursuant to the said Order, our client wishes to leave the jurisdiction as soon as possible."
The Registrar has fixed Friday, 26 November, 9.30am for the hearing before the judge in chambers.
In his reply to the Registrar, Mr Ravi asks for the proceedings to be heard in open court instead.
"We are surprised that you have fixed the application to be heard in chambers rather than in open court to which we take objection to [sic]. Please reconsider your position and kindly fix the matter to be heard in open court on 26 November 2010 at 9.30am."
UPDATE: Thursday, 25 November, 13.30hrs:
The court has granted M Ravi's request for the hearing to be held in open court, despite the Attorney General's objections. The hearing will be heard on Friday, 26 November, at 9.30am, at Court 4C.
TOC will provide more updates as and when we have them.