Court orders Li Shengwu to answer questions from AGC within 14 days

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
Li Shengwu, the nephew of Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. (PHOTO: Reuters)
Li Shengwu, the nephew of Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The High Court on Monday (3 February) ordered Li Shengwu, nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to answer questions posed to Li by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) within 14 days in the contempt proceedings against him.

The AGC said in a statement that Li has refused to answer the questions and he has applied to set them aside. Li has also applied for discovery of certain documents from the AGC. Both applications were rejected by the High Court on Monday, the AGC added.

“Mr Li was further ordered to produce the documents referred to in his defence affidavit. The Court also ordered Mr Li to attend the substantive committal proceedings to be cross-examined,” the AGC said.

The statement came after parties appeared before the High Court to seek directions on various applications filed by Li and the AGC.

Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to Li for comment.

On 22 January, Li said in a Facebook post that he will no longer take part in contempt of court proceedings against him. The academic at Harvard University blasted what he calls the AGC’s persistently “unusual conduct” in its two-and-a-half-year-long case against him.

The eldest son of business executive Lee Hsien Yang said the AGC had applied to strike out parts of his defence affidavit, with the result that they would not be considered at the trial. He added that the AGC subsequently demanded that these parts be sealed in the court record.

On 15 July 2017, Li had published a private Facebook post with comments blasting the government and questioning the independence of the judicial system.

In a letter sent six days after the post, Senior State Counsel Francis Ng called it “an egregious and baseless attack” on the Singapore legal system and asked Li to sign a declaration that he had made false allegations, was in contempt of the judiciary, and to apologise unreservedly.

Li later explained that his post was intended as a criticism of the Singapore government’s effect on press freedom and that the AGC “chose to escalate the dispute”.

Later in the same month, the AGC applied for – and was subsequently granted – permission in the High Court to commence proceedings against Li for contempt of court.

“This prosecution has continued for years, and during that time the AGC has submitted thousands of pages of legal documents over one paragraph on social media,” said Li in his Facebook post last month.

In response to his post, the AGC said in a statement the following day, “If Mr Li has nothing to hide, he should make himself available for cross-examination and answer the questions posed to him on oath. If he believes that his statement was not in contempt of the Singapore Judiciary, he should continue to defend the proceedings.”

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