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U.S. Lawyer Arrested Over Blog Post

A U.S. lawyer was arrested Saturday and charged in a Singapore court over comments he made on his blog and in an e-mail that were critical of the judge presiding over a defamation case. The lawyer, Gopalan Nair, is a native of Singapore and formerly practiced there, but now has an immigration-law firm in Fremont, Calif. He was in Singapore to attend a three-day hearing presided over by Supreme Court Justice Belinda Ang. While there, Nair criticized Ang in a post on his blog, Singapore Dissident, calling her biased and writing that she "prostituted herself during the entire proceedings," and then he repeated the criticism in an e-mail he sent to news media and Singapore's attorney general.

Singapore authorities arrested Nair and charged him with "threatening, abusing or insulting a public servant." His lawyer said that he would be held in custody for seven days pending further investigations. If found guilty, he faces a fine of up to S$5,000 ($3,671) or imprisonment of up to one year. Reportedly, Nair has long been a critic of Singapore's ruling party and stood for elections in 1991 as a member of the opposition Workers' Party. On his blog, he posted his location and telephone number in Singapore and dared Singapore's leaders to come for him, writing, "Look here. I am now within your jurisdiction and that of your corrupt police and your corrupt judiciary who will do anything you want of them, however criminal and illegal."

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Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 2, 2008 at 01:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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