Lawyer course

Lawyer Mr. Ravi no longer representing COT contributor is found guilty of defamation of Cabinet members

SINGAPORE – Activist lawyer Mr Ravi no longer represents Daniel De Costa Augustin, a contributor to the socio-political website The Online Citizen (TOC) who has previously been found guilty of defamation against Cabinet members.

De Costa, 38, is now represented by Mr Chung Ting Fai, who appeared before District Judge Ng Peng Hong on Wednesday March 16.

The reason for this change of lawyer was not revealed in open court.

However, it was reported earlier this year that Mr Ravi, who suffers from bipolar disorder, had his medical certificate (MC) extended.

In December last year, the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) said Mr Ravi had to stop practicing law for six weeks after receiving an MC from his treating psychiatrist.

LawSoc had said it was a safeguard in Mr Ravi’s conditional practicing certificate, which was granted in 2019.

Among the conditions of the certificate, he must stop practicing as a lawyer if his treating psychiatrist prescribes at least three days off work during a period of 14 calendar days.

The company had also noted that the MC was dated from December 2 last year to January 13 this year, both dates inclusive.

But Deputy Attorney General Senthilkumaran Sabapathy said in independent proceedings in the High Court on January 28 that Mr Ravi was still on sick leave.

The DPP did not disclose the reasons for the attorney’s MC extension.

For the current case, TOC editor Xu Yuanchen, 39, better known as Terry Xu, and De Costa were each found guilty in November last year of one count defamation of cabinet members.

Judge Ng also found De Costa guilty of an offense under the Computer Misuse Act.

Xu is represented by lawyers Remy Choo and Priscilla Chia.

De Costa had written a letter defaming Cabinet members and sent it from an email account of his friend, Mr. Sim Wee Lee.

The letter was titled “PAP MP apologizes to SDP” and sent to TOC from Mr Sim’s Yahoo account in September 2018.