Blogger Alex Au is now facing legal action for contempt of court, after the High Court granted permission to government lawyers to act on one of two flagged articles. The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) must file an application for an order of committal within 14 days, and papers will be served on Mr Au thereafter. A pre-trial conference may then be arranged to set a hearing date in due course.
Justice Belinda Ang on Wednesday ruled that the AGC can proceed on an Oct 5 blog post entitled '377 Wheels Come Off Supreme Court's Best-Laid Plans' posted on Mr Au's Yawning Bread blog. But she did not find sufficient basis for the AGC to act against Mr Au on a second post - 'Church Sacks Employee And Sues Government - On One Ground Right, On Another Ground Wrong' - which was published online on Oct 12.
Both blog posts had dealt with alleged discrimination against homosexuals here. In the former, Mr Au had accused the Supreme Court of "deliberately manipulating hearing dates", said AGC. In the latter, he had expressed doubt that the judiciary was capable of making independent judgments.
Lawyers, Mr Peter Low and Mr Choo Zheng Xi, who have been engaged by Mr Au for this case, were allowed by Justice Ang to hold a watching brief for their client during the proceedings, which meant they could observe the hearing but not make any submissions. They were also not allowed to oppose the leave application.