SINGAPORE - Lawyer Ravi Madasamy, better known as M. Ravi, was charged in a district court on Wednesday (Dec 16) with criminal defamation.
The 51-year-old Singaporean is accused of defaming Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam in a unit at People's Park Centre at around 8.45am on Nov 6.
Ravi allegedly posted on Facebook words "containing an imputation" concerning Mr Shanmugam, namely that the minister had claimed that he wields influence and controls Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon.
According to court documents, Ravi is said to have intended that the post would harm Mr Shanmugam's reputation.
In an earlier statement on Nov 7, the police said that investigations had been carried out in relation to a Facebook entry that Ravi is accused of posting the day before.
He alleged in the post that Singaporean lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam had told him that Mr Shanmugam had said he "wields influence over the Chief Justice" and "calls the shot and controlls (sic) Sundaresh Menon".
On Nov 6, Mr Thuraisingam wrote a letter to Mr Shanmugam, saying that "there is absolutely no truth whatsoever" to Ravi's allegations.
Mr Thuraisingam also posted a copy of the letter online on his Facebook page, referring to Ravi's Facebook post as "false and completely untrue".
The police added that according to Mr Thuraisingam, Ravi made similar accusations in a Facebook post published on June 12, 2017.
Mr Thuraisingam clarified with Mr Shanmugam on June 13, 2017 that Ravi's allegations were false.
No police action was taken then.
A pre-trial conference on the latest case is slated for Jan 6 next year.
Offenders convicted of criminal defamation can be jailed for up to two years and fined.