Terry Xu, chief editor of The Online Citizen (TOC), has been served a Writ of Summons along with a Statement of Claim by Davinder Singh Chambers LLC.
The law firm is acting on behalf of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
According to a Facebook post by TOC on Sept. 5, the Writ was served on Xu at his house in the afternoon.
The statement of claim, according to TOC's post, said:
"The statement of claim finds fault with an article published on TOC, "PM Lee's wife, Ho Ching weirdly shares article on cutting ties with family members", stating that the article contained statements that are false and baseless and were calculated to disparage and impugn PM Lee as well as his office as the Prime Minister."
Xu has eight days to enter an appearance to defend the claim.
According to a photo of the document shared by TOC, the pre-trial conference hearing is set for the morning of Oct. 15.
You can see the post below:
Xu shared this post on his own Facebook page, with the caption, "It has begun. =)"
TOC was asked to take down article
TOC was asked by PM Lee's press secretary in a letter on Sept. 1 to take down an article containing allegedly defamatory statements about the prime minister.
TOC was also asked to publish an apology by Sept. 4.
However, TOC refused.
Davinder Singh's involvement
Senior Counsel Davinder Singh could once again represent PM Lee, as he previously did so in 2015 in the defamation lawsuit against blogger Roy Ngerng.
Singh is also representing PM Lee in a defamation lawsuit against local blogger Leong Sze Hian.
Singh, considered one of Singapore's top lawyers, has started his own firm.
Singh's previous firm, Drew & Napier, announced his departure in January 2019.
PM Lee's NRIC number censored
TOC's Facebook post took the liberty of redacting PM Lee's NRIC number.
Previously, Ngerng revealed PM Lee's NRIC number online, after the blogger uploaded the hard copy application to set aside the summary judgment for his defamation case onto his blog without redacting any details.
Read more about the latest TOC saga here:
Top image from TOC and Terry Xu's Facebook pages.