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In response to media queries, the Police confirm that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had issued an order on 17 March 2020 authorising the Police to investigate an alleged contempt of court under Section 3(1)(a) of the Administration of Justice (Protection) Act 2016 (“AOJPA”), concerning the publication of an article on 14 February 2020.

The article referred to statements made by Mr Zaid Bin Abd Malek (“Mr Zaid”) in his capacity as the Director of the non-governmental organisation, Lawyers for Liberty (“LFL”), regarding the dismissal of lawsuits filed by two convicted Malaysian drug traffickers, Gobi a/l Avedian and Datchinamurthy a/l Kataiah, over the alleged execution methods practised by prison authorities. Mr Zaid’s statements had suggested that the Singapore Courts had been unfair and ignored due process by rushing the hearing, and that the Singapore Courts were “bent on dismissing the suits and proceeding to execution”. These statements were published online and accessed by members of the public in Singapore.

Mr Zaid was overseas when the order was issued in 2020, and has not been in Singapore until his arrival on 4 July 2022. Upon Mr Zaid’s arrival in Singapore, the Police were notified and a team of two officers proceeded to the airport to serve an order on Mr Zaid requiring his attendance for a Police interview pertaining to the investigations under the AOJPA. Mr Zaid informed that he was available for the interview on 6 July 2022 and officers then scheduled the interview with him at Police Cantonment Complex accordingly. Thereafter, Mr Zaid was allowed to leave the airport.

Mr Zaid attended the interview at the Police Cantonment Complex on 6 July 2022 to assist in investigations pertaining to the AOJPA offence. Before the commencement of the interview, Mr Zaid was informed that he could request for breaks at any point during the interview. Statement recording began at about 10.17am and ended at about 12.05pm, and Mr Zaid did not request for any break throughout the interview. Mr Zaid left the Police Cantonment Complex shortly after the statement recording ended.

Upon the conclusion of investigations on the same day, the Police, in consultation with AGC, served a 24-month conditional warning to Mr Zaid and LFL in lieu of prosecution for the offence of contempt of court under Section 3(1)(a) of the AOJPA on 6 July 2022, before his scheduled departure on 7 July 2022. Mr Zaid accepted both warnings served to him and LFL in his capacity as the Director for LFL. Mr Zaid arrived at the Police Cantonment Complex to receive the warnings on 6 July 2022 at about 8.48pm and left the building at about 9.20pm.

Under Section 11 of the AOJPA, the publication in relation to contempt of court, if published through the Internet or other electronic media, is taken to be published in Singapore if it was accessed by members of the public in Singapore.


09 July 2022 @ 1:15 PM
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