On Wednesday (27 November) a district judge dismissed the application to bring a constitutional challenge pertaining to Mr Daniel De Costa’s criminal defamation case to the High Court.
As the parties were entering the courthouse, there were, of course, photographers waiting outside to get a snapshot of the Defendants and their lawyers. By this point, Mr De Costa, Terry, and their lawyers are familiar faces in the media.
Funnily enough, though, local Chinese newspaper Shin Min (新民晚报) Daily ended up publishing the wrong photo of Terry in their report of the latest updates on the case. The image of a man in glasses who is clearly not Terry was published next to a photo of Mr De Costa, and credited to Straits Times.
Terry said, “No wonder there were no photographers waiting for me. They probably left because they thought they had already taken a photo of the two accused.”
On 12 December 2018, Mr De Costa was arrested for defamation and charged the next day. This was for an article he had written – and was subsequently published on The Online Citizen on 4 September – in which he said there was “corruption at the highest echelons” of Singapore. The article was published under a pseudonym, Willy Sum.
The article was later taken down on the order of Infocomms and Media Development Authority (IMDA) on 18 Sep 2018. The article was reported to the police by IMDA the following months on 8 October.
The next month, on 20 November, the police seized electronic devices from Terry’s, editor-in-chief of TOC, and Mr De Costa’s respective residences under court orders.
Terry was subjected to an eight-hour police interview that day while Mr De Costa was interviewed at a later date.
If found guilty, Terry and Mr De Costa may be subject to a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment or a fine or both.