SINGAPORE: The police today confirmed that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had issued an order in March 2020 to investigate Malaysian lawyer Zaid Abd Malek for contempt of court.
The police said Zaid was overseas when the order was issued and had not been to Singapore until his arrival on Monday.
Zaid had said last week that he had been made to wait at the airport for four hours on Monday until two police officers served him a notice to attend an interview. He was allowed to leave the airport after agreeing to be interviewed on Wednesday.
The investigation is over an article published in 2020 about the dismissal of suits filed by two convicted Malaysian drug traffickers, A Gobi and K Datchinamurthy, over the alleged execution methods practised by prison authorities.
The article referred to statements made by Zaid in his capacity as director of the Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) activist group.
Police said 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”.
Zaid had arrived at Seletar airport on Monday to assist and provide legal advice to the family of Malaysian death row prisoner Kalwant Singh, who was executed on Thursday.
The Singapore police said Zaid attended the interview on Wednesday and left shortly after the recording of the statement ended.
He and LFL were served a 24-month conditional warning in lieu of prosecution for the offence of contempt of court and accepted both warnings that evening, the police said.
Zaid had said that he was being investigated over a statement issued in Malaysia, and not in Singapore. However, Singapore police said the law provided for an article to be regarded as being published in Singapore if it could be accessed by members of the public in Singapore.