Mr Lee Kuan Yew
Your lawyer's attempt to dispute the record of the proceedings during Monday's session before Judge Belinda Ang (12 May 2008) is a very serious matter.
The dispute is over whether Judge Belinda Ang has agreed that "there will be latitude" given to the defendants to cross-examine you and Mr Lee Hsien Loong during the hearing for the assessment of damages.
It was our fear of such disputes that we wanted the preliminary applications to be heard in open court. Your counsel, however, objected to this. Now he is contesting that the Judge has agreed to allow us the latitude to cross-examine you in the witness box.
In order to avoid such further disputes, we are applying to the courts to have the hearing on 22 May 2008 to stike out our AEICs held in open court where the public and media can attend, and where arguments and proceedings can be audio-digitally recorded.
May I remind you of your own words in an interview you gave to Time magazine in 2005: "If you defame us, we're prepared to sue you, go into the witness box and be cross-examined. You can brief the best lawyers and demolish us. If I'm involved, I go to the witness box. And you can question me, not only on the particular defamatory issue, but all issues in my life."
It seems strange then that your lawyer should be so concerned that we would have latitude to cross-examine you. This may explain why your actions don't seem to match your words. Here's why:
First, you went for summary judgment in your suit with Mr Goh Chok Tong against me in 2001 so that the case did not go to trial and you did not take the stand.
Second, you went for summary judgment again in the present suit thus avoiding going to the witness box yet again.
Third, you now want to strike out our AEICs for the hearing to assess damages and you oppose this hearing to be held in open court where the public can hear and see for themselves all the arguments in play.
Finally your lawyer objects, outside court, to the fact that there will be latitude for us to cross-examine you and your son.
You must admit that all these steps taken by you and your lawyer leaves the impression that you are anxious to avoid an open and full cross-examination in court. To eradicate such an impression please do not place any more obstacles in our effort to fully and comprehensively cross-examine you.
You can do this by instructing Mr Singh to, one, support our application to have the 22 May hearing conducted in open court (at the very least, he should not oppose it) and, two, to clearly tell Judge Ang that we should have full latitude to question you because you are more than capable of handling the questions while in the witness box.
Anything less, and your words "If I'm involved, I go to the witness box. And you can question me, not only on the particular defamatory issue, but all issues in my life" will be the source of much derision.
We, the defendants, and the Singaporean public await your response.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party
Davinder Singh insists that striking out hearing cannot be in open court:
15 May 2008
Singapore Democratic Party
Ms Chee Siok Chin
Dr Chee Soon Juan
Suit No. 261 of 2006 L
Suit No. 262 of 2006 Q
1. We refer to your e-mail dated 14 May 2008.
2. The learned Judge did not say that there will be latitude to cross examine.
3. Your application for an open court hearing was unsuccessful. We will oppose any attempt to revisit it.
Drew & Napier LLC
(24 July 2008)