The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has commenced legal proceedings in the High Court against Chew Peng Ee, better known as Leslie Chew, for a series of comic strips published on Facebook.
He is alleged to have committed contempt of court by scandalising the Judiciary of the Republic of Singapore.
The AGC said in a statement issued Thursday: "The present legal proceedings are aimed at protecting the administration of justice in the Republic of Singapore and upholding the integrity of one of our key public institutions."
The case will be heard before the High Court on Aug 12.
Chew is the illustrator behind Demon-cratic Singapore, a Facebook page that was started in May 2011.
Centre to this case are four comics published on 20 July 2011, 3 January 2012, 5 January 2012 and 16 June 2012 on the Facebook page, which claims that Demon-cratic Singapore is the "full name" of a fictional country, "often referred to as Singapore for short". It also says the series is a "totally fictional comic with entirely fictional characters based on wholly fictional events".
Chew, 37, was arrested in April for alleged sedition, in relation to a cartoon posted on March 27 regarding the Malay population.
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Here is the full statement from the Attorney-General's Chambers:
The Attorney-General's Chambers ("AGC") has commenced legal proceedings in the High Court for an order of committal against Chew Peng Ee, also known as Leslie Chew, for committing contempt of court by scandalising the Judiciary of the Republic of Singapore.
An order of committal will, if made, set out High Court's finding that contempt of court has been committed, and will also set out the punishment imposed for such contempt, whether this be imprisonment or a fine, or both.
The present legal proceedings, which are aimed at protecting the administration of justice in the Republic of Singapore and upholding the integrity of one of our key public institutions, have been commenced in connection with Leslie Chew's publication of various comics as part of the comic series "Demon-cratic Singapore" on Facebook.
The first stage of these proceedings involved an application to a Judge in Chambers for leave (i.e. the Court's permission) to apply for the order of committal ("the leave application"), as required by the Rules of Court. The leave application was heard ex parte, that is to say, in the absence of the other party, before a Judge in Chambers on Tuesday 23 July 2013.
The leave application was made in connection with five comics; after having heard submissions from AGC, the High Court granted leave to apply for the order of committal in connection with four of the comics, which Leslie Chew published on 20 July 2011, 3 January 2012, 5 January 2012 and 16 June 2012.
The next stage of the proceedings involves the filing of an application to apply for the order of committal ("the committal application"). The committal application was filed by AGC on 23 July 2013 and will be served on Leslie Chew together with the other documents prescribed by the Rules of Court later this afternoon.
The committal application has currently been fixed for hearing before the High Court on 12 August 2013.