Government critic Leong Sze Hian, who lost a high-profile defamation case against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, is seeking more funds to pay the latter’s legal fees.
The 68-year-old commentator announced yesterday that he is now required to pay another S$130,000 (US$97,000) in disbursements and legal costs. This is on top of the S$133,000 in damages ordered by the high court that were successfully raised through crowdfunding.
“The Prime Minister is seeking legal costs and disbursements against me of almost $130 000 for the libel suit. I appeal once again to my courageous fellow Singaporeans for your support,” Leong wrote online last night. He raised S$5,000 within an hour.
Legal Cost and Disbursement Of Almost $130 000 Sought By The Prime Minister For The Libel Suit.
The Prime Minister is…
Late last month, Leong lost a defamation case brought by the prime minister, who had sued him for sharing an article on Facebook in 2018 that accused Lee of being involved with former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in looting money from that country’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.
The judge ruled that he had shared the article “without making any enquiries as to its truth whatsoever” and showed “reckless disregard of whether the article was true or not,” despite being one of the thousands who had shared the same article published by Malaysian site The Coverage.
Leong managed to raise the full amount of damages from nearly 2,000 donors by Easter Sunday. Even the prime minister’s estranged brother Lee Hsien Yang was “happy” to help with an undisclosed sum, according to Leong.
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