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AGC: Li Shengwu instructed lawyers to leak copies of his defence affidavit to the media

May 23, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership

Around Sep 29, 2019, Li Shengwu instructed his lawyers to release copies of his defence affidavit to the media before it was admitted into evidence or referred to in any court hearing, said AGC in its latest statement released today (Feb 3).

Li's action was a breach of the Supreme Court Practice Directions, said AGC, and the court subsequently struck out portions of the affidavit "which contained scandalous and irrelevant material".

Li, who is an assistant professor of economics at Harvard University and lives in the United States, is the grandson of the late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

AGC said Li and his lawyers later filed affidavits apologising for the breach, and parties will attend court again as AGC has applied for a declaration that Li and his then-lawyers had abused court process.

Li's former lawyers Abraham Vergis and Aisyah Ahmad of Providence Law confirmed with the media outside the court that they were no longer Li's lawyers, but declined to provide any further comment.

Coincidentally, a few days before the alleged leak, Li hired British lawyer Queen's Counsel David Pannick on Sep 26, 2019 to advise him in his contempt of court case.

Li is currently facing contempt of court charges for a Facebook post he allegedly made in 2017, when he published a private Facebook post that alleged the Singapore government is "very litigious" and has a "pliant court system".

Li announced in a Facebook post on Jan 22 that he would no longer participate in court proceedings.

However, AGC said Li is required to produce the documents referred to in his defence affidavit and answer the questions posed to him on oath within 14 days. He had previously refused to do so.

If Li does not show up in court and is later found to be in contempt when hearings proceed without him, a warrant of arrest can be issued, and he can be arrested if he returns to Singapore.

He can also be acquitted on the arguments and evidence without personally attending court.