TOC equipment seized, investigated by police for criminal defamation
Online Citizen editor's home raided over article's corruption claims
The police seized electronic equipment from the home of The Online Citizen (TOC) editor Terry Xu yesterday as part of an investigation into the socio-political website for criminal defamation.
TOC later said on its Facebook page that it will be on hiatus as "all electronic equipment used for the purpose of the website have been seized".
They include a desktop computer, laptops and mobile devices.
Confirming the seizure, a police spokesman said: "The TOC article 'The take away from Seah Kian Ping's Facebook post' made serious allegations that the Government's highest officers are corrupt and that the Constitution has been tampered with."
She added that a report had been made against TOC and the author of the article, and the case is being investigated for the offence of criminal defamation.
The article was posted on the TOC website on Sept 4 as a letter written by a Willy Sum.
It made reference to MP for Marine Parade GRC Seah Kian Peng's Facebook post on Sept 1, which touched on the Aug 30 meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and several activists from Singapore, including historian Thum Ping Tjin and freelance journalist Kirsten Han.
The TOC article, which misspelt Mr Seah's name in its headline and quoted parts of his post, has been taken down from the TOC site.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority said last night that it made a police report because the TOC article had made serious allegations that undermine the public's confidence in the Government's integrity. The penalty for criminal defamation is a jail term of up to two years, or a fine, or both.
TOC, which started in 2006, was gazetted by the Singapore Registry of Political Donations as a political organisation in 2011. It was de-gazetted in February this year.