High Court dismisses TOC chief editor’s application to obtain documents from Prime Minister for defence in defamation suit

The High Court has dismissed an application made by TOC‘s chief editor Terry Xu to obtain certain documents from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in relation to a defamation suit filed by the PM against him.

PM Lee’s lawsuit concerns an article published on TOC on 15 Aug last year, which is alleged to have made false claims that he had misled the late Lee Kuan Yew into believing that their family home at 38 Oxley Road had been gazetted by the Government.

Justice Audrey Lim on Tue (24 Mar) dismissed Mr Xu’s application for discovery following a closed-door hearing in chambers.

Mr Xu told The Straits Times yesterday that he had sought to acquire documents on PM Lee’s correspondence with his family, as well as minutes of a Cabinet meeting, in a pre-trial process to obtain evidence.

Instances of communication between PM Lee and his family that Mr Xu had sought were:

  • Correspondence from Mr LKY to PM Lee on the removal of the latter as an executor of his will;
  • Correspondence between PM Lee and his siblings Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling regarding the family home, dated 20 Jul 2011 to 31 Oct 2012; and
  • Correspondence between PM Lee and Mr LKY on the family home, dated 20 Jul 2011 to 31 Oct 2012.

ST reported last Sep that PM Lee’s lawyers — according to court documents — stated that their client had been “gravely injured in his character and reputation, and has been brought into public scandal, odium and contempt” as a result of the article.

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