Lee Hsien Yang on son Shengwu's contempt of court case: Appeal permission granted shows case has raised serious issues

Mr Lee Hsien Yang said that the Singapore Court of Appeal's decision vindicates "our belief that Shengwu has raised serious issues that need proper consideration". PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Mr Lee Hsien Yang, the brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has commented on the Singapore Court of Appeal decision allowing his son Li Shengwu's appeal in a contempt of court case.

On Monday (Sept 3), the apex court reversed a decision of the High Court and allowed Mr Li to appeal against a court order that allowed the Attorney-General (A-G) to serve papers on him in the United States for contempt of court.

Mr Lee said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that the decision vindicates "our belief that Shengwu has raised serious issues that need proper consideration".

He said: "The Court of Appeal will have the opportunity in open court to consider - for the first time - whether Singapore courts have jurisdiction outside the country in the circumstances of his case."

The A-G started proceedings against Mr Li for contempt on Aug 21 last year, over a Facebook post he put up on July 15. In it, he said "the Singapore Government is very litigious and has a pliant court system".

The post was related to a family dispute which involved his father, his aunt Lee Wei Ling and PM Lee, over the fate of the Oxley Road home of their late father Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding prime minister.

One of the key issues that will be argued before the Court of Appeal is whether a procedural rule - which specifically allows court papers for contempt to be served outside Singapore - can be applied retroactively.

On Monday, the issue of whether the court has jurisdiction over a foreign-based defendant, and what the basis is for that jurisdiction, was repeatedly raised by a three-judge apex court.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court gave Mr Li permission to appeal. No date has been fixed for the appeal hearing.

But Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon indicated that the appeal should be expedited and not "left hanging" as it concerned an important question.

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