Singapore — The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) on Thursday responded to a statement supporting blogger Alex Au purportedly signed by 170 academics, civil activists and artists, and sent to the media on November 29, 2013.
The “Statement on AGC Action against Alex Au”, expresses concerns over the AGC being granted permission by the High Court to take legal action against Mr Au for one of his blog articles, citing the constitutional right to freedom of expression.
The article in question from Mr Au’s blog Yawning Bread is titled “377 Wheels Come Off Supreme Court’s Best Laid Plans”, which contains allegations of wrongdoing by senior judicial officers.
The AGC statement said the allegations severely undermined the judicial officers’ standing, and the authority of the judiciary as a whole.
The statement said, “if Mr Au has erred, then his claims should be rebutted in public.”
The AGC stressed that the court hearing to determine whether the article is in contempt of court will be open to the public, and Alex Au will have every opportunity to rebut the charge against him, said reports.
The AGC statement argued that “The constitutional right to free speech and expression is not an absolute right, but is subject to limits which are expressly provided for in the constitution.
“As important as the right to free speech and expression is, the Constitution recognises that our society as a whole must be safeguarded against statements without basis which injure the reputation of persons or lower confidence in the administration of justice.”