Wall Street Journal Asia edition fined $25,000
The Wall Street Journal's Asia edition have been fined for publishing news items about the independence of Singapore's courts. The Journal had published three items in June and July this year attacking the integrity of the courts.
Justice Tay Yong Kwang on Tuesday said the fine would serve to denounce the conduct of the newspaper, 'a repeat offender', and hopefully deter future transgressions.
He also ordered the Hong Kong-based publication to pay costs of $30,000.
Previous fines for contempt of court involving newspapers have been in the thousands of dollars. The highest - $10,000 - was meted out to American academic Christopher Lingle in 1995 for an article he wrote in the International Herald Tribune that insinuated the judiciary was compliant.
In the present case, the Attorney-General took Dow Jones - the publisher of the WSJA - to court over three articles published in the newspaper in June and July this year.
The first was an editorial on Singapore's democracy, arising out of a May hearing to assess damages that Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan and others had to pay Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew for libel.
The second was a letter by Dr Chee, in reply to a rebuttal of that editorial by MM Lee?s press secretary.
The third article was another editorial, on the International Bar Association?s Human Rights Institute's report on the Singapore judiciary in July.