Lawyer charged with criminal defamation involving Shanmugam

Lawyer Ravi Madasamy, better known as M. Ravi, was charged in a district court yesterday with criminal defamation.

The 51-year-old Singaporean is accused of defaming Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam in a unit at People's Park Centre on Nov 6.

Ravi allegedly posted on Facebook words "containing an imputation" concerning Mr Shanmugam, namely that the minister had claimed that he wields influence over and controls Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon.

According to court documents, Ravi is said to have intended for the post to harm Mr Shanmugam's reputation.

In a statement on Nov 7, the police said that investigations had been carried out in relation to a Facebook entry that Ravi is accused of posting the day before.

He alleged in the post that Singaporean lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam had told him that Mr Shanmugam had said he "wields influence over the Chief Justice" and calls the shots and controls the CJ.

On Nov 6, Mr Thuraisingam wrote a letter to Mr Shanmugam, saying that "there is absolutely no truth whatsoever" to Ravi's allegations.

Mr Thuraisingam also posted a copy of the letter online on his Facebook page, referring to Ravi's Facebook post as "false and completely untrue".

The police added that according to Mr Thuraisingam, Ravi had made similar accusations in a Facebook post published on June 12, 2017.

A pre-trial conference on the latest case is slated for Jan 6 next year.

Offenders convicted of criminal defamation can be jailed for up to two years and fined.