Lawyer Lim Tean will be representing The Online Citizen Asia chief editor Terry Xu in the upcoming defamation trial against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
PM Lee’s defamation suit against Mr Xu pertains to an article published on TOC on 15 August last year, which contained allegations made by PM Lee’s siblings Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling in relation to the 38 Oxley Road dispute.
In a statement on Thursday (15 October), Mr Lim said that he has “long admired Terry and the amazing work that TOC does in being a free and independent media outlet”.
He added that “TOC and other alternative media are the true Fourth Estate in our democracy” and that demanding accountability from “the powerful and the elite in our society” is still possible “largely” due to the presence of such individuals and media outlets.
“The upcoming trial promises to be a fascinating court case as the saga of 38 Oxley Road and the dispute between the Lee siblings, which erupted into the open in June 2017, will be at the center of the litigation,” said Mr Lim.
Mr Xu today said that he made the decision to engage a counsel to represent him against PM Lee after “facing increasing difficulty in coping with the legal technicalities”.
“As I am concerned that the PM’s lawyers will make lapses in technicalities an issue for the trial, I am therefore appointing a counsel to represent me from here onwards,” he said.
Mr Xu previously represented himself legally in the lead up to the trial hearing since PM Lee initiated the libel suit against him last year.
“I believe that Mr Lim will be able to do a great job in defending my interests and to assist the court in deliberating the truth behind the siblings’ allegations against their brother,” he said.
Mr Lim is also representing financial advisor and veteran blogger Leong Sze Hian in a separate defamation suit filed by PM Lee for sharing a link to an article containing allegations of the prime minister’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal via a Facebook post in 2018.
Mr Xu’s trial is slated to be heard from 30 November to 4 December.