AGC can act against blogger for contempt

AGC can act against blogger for contempt

THE High Court on Tuesday granted permission for contempt of court action to be taken against blogger Alex Au Wai Pang, but only for one of two articles which had been flagged by the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).

Justice Belinda Ang ruled in a closed-door hearing, in which Mr Au's lawyers were allowed to sit in, that the AGC can proceed on the Oct 5 post titled "377 Wheels Come Off Supreme Court's Best-Laid Plans".

But she did not find sufficient basis for contempt on the Oct 12 article "Church Sacks Employee And Sues Government - On One Ground Right, On Another Ground Wrong".

The AGC now has 14 days to apply for an order of committal - the next step for instituting action against contempt of court. After that, it can serve papers on Mr Au, 61, who runs sociopolitical blog Yawning Bread. A hearing date will then be decided.

The AGC alleges that in the earlier post, Mr Au accused the Supreme Court of "deliberately manipulating hearing dates" to let Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon hear an appeal on the constitutionality of Section 377A, which criminalises sex between men.

Mr Au claimed that a seven- month delay between the hearing of businessman Tan Eng Hong's case against Section 377A in March and High Court Justice Quentin Loh releasing his decision last month was "deliberate".

He pointed out how the same judge took just two months to reject a similar case by a gay couple, which was heard in February. This was to allow them to file their appeal first, Mr Au claimed.

The problem with Mr Tan's case, the blogger alleged, was that it was first filed in 2010, when the CJ was the Attorney-General. That meant he would have had to recuse himself from any involvement in Mr Tan's case.

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