The Real Singapore editor returns from Australia to attend pre-trial conference
More trouble awaits as the duo were also served a court summons from a law firm representing the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).
Update May 18, 2015, 2:13pm: Yang and Takagi were served court papers from a process server from WongPartnership, the law firm representing Singapore Press Holdings. The duo’s counsel told the media after the pre-trial conference that he was not aware of what the papers were about.
The two owners of socio-political site The Real Singapore (TRS), 24-year-old Australian Ai Takagi and 26-year-old Singaporean Yang Kaiheng, returned to court today at 09.10 am for a pre-trial conference.
The duo, who were charged with seven counts of sedition and one count of failing to provide financial documents on TRS’ operation to a police officer, returned to court following Yang’s trip to Brisbane to see his ailing father.
Yang and Takagi were also served a court summons from a process server from WongPartnership, the law firm representing the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). The duo did not receive the papers, but knocked them away.
SPH claimed in the writ of summons that TRS had infringed its copyright by reproducing SPH articles. The media giant sought a declaration that the defendants had infringed SPH’s copyright, an injunction to restrain them, damages, as well as an account of profits they made by copyright infringement and payment of all sums found due, according to The Straits Times.
The pair’s counsel, Choo Zheng Xi, told the media after the pre-trial conference that he was not aware of what the papers were about.
Yang’s father has returned to Singapore, and is undergoing treatment in a general ward. His lawyer also declined to comment on the father’s condition.
Yang was allowed to leave Singapore on May 4 on the condition that he return to Singapore by May 17. The 26-year-old had to comply with new bail conditions, including a bail amount totalling $60,000. Yang also had to give a detailed itinerary and remain contactable, as well as update his counsel, Choo, on his father’s condition.
The duo have also made necessary representations to the Media Development Authority (MDA) on the suspension of the licence to operate TRS. TRS was asked to shut down by MDA on May 3, as it had deemed the site’s contents “objectionable on the grounds of public interest, public order and national harmony.”
The site was given seven days to provide information on its operations and make representations on why their licence should not be cancelled.
The bail for the duo has been returned to the original $20,000. Written representations will be made to the court, and the duo will return to court for another pre-trial conference on July 1.
Top photo by Ng Yi Shu.