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PM Lee refuses to reply to Leong Sze Hian’s defence in countersuit and instead applies to strike it out

In the latest development of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong versus Leong Sze Hian law suit, PM Lee had filed his Defence to Mr Leong’s counterclaim for abuse of process of the Court and chose not to reply to the Defence put forth by Mr Leong. Instead, he filed another application to strike out the counterclaim.

Mr Leong, financial consultant and veteran blogger, announced this development today on his Facebook page. He said the he “will also be applying to strike out the Prime Minister’s claim on the basis that it is an abuse of process”.

PM Lee had earlier sued Leong for defamation over a Facebook share he made with an article from TheCoverage.My. The article claimed that editor-in-chief of investigative journalism platform Sarawak Report Ms Clare Rewcastle said Singapore as “one of the key investigation targets, alongside Switzerland and United States” in the 1MDB scandal during an interview with Malaysian media.

Mr Leong retaliated this by filing a countersuit against PM Lee for the abuse of the process of the Court last month.

In his Defence and Counterclaim, Mr Leong pleads that he only had the post up for 3 days and removed it immediately upon receipt of an order from the IMDA. He challenges the Prime Minister’s case on meaning, on the extent of publication and re-publication and on malice. He does not assert that what the article said or is alleged to have said was true.

In the statement released by Carson Laws Chambers, it is stated that PM Lee chose not to challenge Mr Leong’s counterclaim as it “is not real and substantial tort” and “been brought for an improper purpose”.

Since PM Lee refused to reply to the counterclaim as there’s no grounds to it, Mr Leong “intends to request the Court of Appeal to look again at its decision” and “to hold that the abuse of process tort”.

 

Lim Tean, who is representing Mr Leong, shared this same news on his Facebook page and went on to condemn the state media saying that it is shocking that they are not reporting on this case as they once went around calling Mr Leong “fugitive evading justice” when PM Lee first filed a defamation suit again Mr Leong.

“The State Media would have known of the latest development yesterday afternoon when Lee Hsien Loong’s Defence and Application were filed. When Leong Sze Hian filed his Defence and Counterclaim on 26 December, the news of it was conveniently tucked away in B9 of the Home Section of the Straits Times the next day,” he noted.

He went on further to say that he considers this non-reporting of relevant news a subset of Fake News.