Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Kangaroo court" trio sentenced to 15 days and 7 days imprisonment

I just received this piece of news from a friend who attended the sentencing today of the "kangaroo court" activists.

John Tan has been sentenced to 15 days imprisonment. Shafi'ie and Isrizal have been sentenced to 7 days each. Furthermore, they each have to pay S$5,000 costs to the Attorney-General. Their jail term begins mid-December.

Here are two recent related posts: Persecution and prosecution of activists continue and 3 out of 3 as Wall Street Journal Asia fined S$25,000 for contempt of court.

Updated at 1715hrs with this report:
Singapore jails 3 for kangaroo T-shirts in court

SINGAPORE, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Three Singaporeans were jailed on Thursday after being charged with contempt of court for showing up at Singapore's Supreme Court wearing T-shirts depicting kangaroos in judges robes.

Isrizal Bin Mohamed Isa and Muhammad Shafi'ie Syahmi Bin Sariman were sentenced to seven days' jail, while Tan Liang Joo John received 15 days imprisonment. They were each ordered to pay S$5,000 in costs.

Tan is the Assistant Secretary-General of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party, led by Chee Soon Juan.

The three had worn the T-shirts at a court hearing in May to determine the damages that Chee Soon Juan and his sister Chee Siok Chin were to pay after being found guilty of defaming Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and former leader Lee Kuan Yew.

Singapore's attorney-general said in bringing the case to court the trio had "scandalised the Singapore judiciary".

Singapore bans gatherings and protests in all public areas without a permit except Speakers' Corner, the country's equivalent of the historic free-speech haven in London's Hyde Park.
Updated 10am, 28 Nov: According to this report by TODAY,
Yesterday, the trio sought to start their jail terms at a later date. Justice Prakash gave time for Mr Isrizal to settle his personal affairs and for Mr Shafi’ie to complete his basic military training. They were ordered to surrender themselves on Dec 12.

Mr Tan sought to start his jail term four weeks later as he was “thinking of the possibility of an appeal”. Mr Tan, who represented himself, said he would need to seek legal advice to weigh his options. Justice Prakash ordered Mr Tan to surrender himself on Dec 18.

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