Exchanges in court

Exchanges in court

Here are extracts of exchanges in court during Mr Roy Ngerng's cross-examination of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

ON THE BLOG THE HEART TRUTHS

Mr Roy Ngerng (RN): Do you know when I started writing my blog?

PM Lee Hsien Loong (PM): No.

RN: 2012. Do you know how many articles I've written?

PM: No.

RN: More than 400 articles.

PM: Well done.

ON MR LEE SUING FOR LIBEL

RN: You've already said that you admitted that you used the law against me.

PM: I have sued you for defamation and you're very unhappy about it. You don't accept that you have defamed me. You think I'm prosecuting and persecuting you.

RN: Mr Lee, first, do not put words into my mouth. I said I accepted the judgment, I did not say I do not accept the judgment.

PM: Because having acknowledged that you defamed me and having taken back all the words, you are now saying that you are innocent, that I am prosecuting you, I am silencing you and it is wrong for me to do that, when in fact I'm just vindicating my reputation.

RN: You sued me, right? Are you using the law to persecute me?

PM: No.

ON WHETHER MR LEE APPROACHED MR NGERNG BEFORE THE LAWSUIT

RN:You did not reach out to me before you sued me?

PM: No, you defamed me. I have to defend myself.

RN: Yes, yes. The question is you didn't reach out to me.

PM: Yes, I wrote you a letter asking you to take it down and apologise.

RN: Now, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) wrote to me on Twitter, I used a photo of theirs and they asked for a photo credit. If you had reached out to me, we could have resolved things.

PM: You have chosen a different path for your own reasons, I accept that. Well, you have to take the consequences.

RN: Mr Lee, CNA did not send me a demand letter ... They request, and I did it voluntarily. Would you have chosen to not send me a demand letter?

PM: You have been skirting closer and closer to defaming me for a long period of time. I have been watching this, I have not responded. Eventually, it was unambiguous and flagrant and I decided I had no choice but to act.

RN: Mr Lee, you just made an accusation about me.

PM: Because you have been making more and more outrageous allegations about the CPF, stopping short of accusing me of doing bad things personally, but coming closer and closer to saying that. And at some point last year, when you published this post on 15 May 2014, I consulted my lawyers and it was completely unambiguous and I could not not act.

Walter Sim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2015, with the headline 'Exchanges in court'. Print Edition | Subscribe