Singapore’s High Court has ruled the Wall Street Journal Asia in contempt of court for publishing two editorials and a letter to the editor that the government says damaged the reputation of the country’s judicial system.
The court also has fined the newspaper US$25,000.
Justice Tay Yong Kwang ruled Tuesday against the newspaper and two of its editors, three weeks after Attorney general Walter Woon argued the editorials published in June and July questioned the judiciary’s independence from the government, which if left unpunished, could undermine the country’s rule of law.
The letter to the editor was written by Chee Soon Juan, head of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party.
The newspaper’s lawyer, Philip Jeyaretnam, was not immediately available for comment. The Wall Street Journal is published by Dow Jones & Co, a part of News Corp.
Singapore’s leaders have sued journalists and political opponents several times in past years for alleged defamation. They have won lawsuits and damages against Bloomberg, the Economist and the International Herald Tribune.