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  1.  这篇封信是翻译自李绳武先生回复新加坡政府总检察署的来信。它的中文内容负如与原文有任何出入或不符之处,均以李绳武先生的英文原文为最终解释权。

  2. 李绳武先生的这封信是刊载在他个人facebook网页上。是属于公开的,不是在私聊栏里。李显扬先生于201785日中午在个人网页转载了李绳武先生的中锋回信。请到下列网址浏览:       https://www.facebook.com/LeeHsienYangSGP/?fref=mentions

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日期:201784 

致:

总检察署

Mr. Francis Ng SC

敬启者:

事项:关于您2017721日的来信。

 回复如下:

 关于总检察署2017721日来函事宜。请允许将回复时间延长至今天下午5点。

  1. 总检察署将我个人于2017715日在FACEBOOK私聊栏里发表的帖子提出异议。同时,指责我在私聊栏里所发表的帖子定性为属于藐视法院。

  2. 我在私聊栏里的帖子内容是完整的。总检察长摘录这些帖子的内容是断章取义的。

  3. 我在私聊栏里里的帖子包含了两个段话。我的重点是在第一段话。第二段话是加上“引号”的。

  4. 无论如何,总检察署只引用了第二句话,同时,在引用时删除了“引号”。

  5. 我在抓帖子的两段文字里表达自己所要说的话。在我的私聊栏里的帖子,我的第二句话是使用斜体字,但是,我加上了引号的。我是这么写的:“假如您密切关注最近新加坡的政治危机,您将会得出一个总结。这是良好的一面。(请您记住,当然,新加坡政府是非常热衷于打官司和拥有一个顺从的法院系统。这限制了国际媒体通常报道的内容……)”

  6. 在我的私聊栏里,我分享了《华尔街日报》的文章。它的内容:“新加坡有序规则的模型是被一场痛苦的家族世仇所动摇。”这是我总结(最近新加坡)政治危机时所引用的话的出处。我也同时提供了《纽约时报》编辑部有关(新加坡)限制了国际媒体的报道的新闻。

  7. 纵观我于715日在私聊栏里的帖子是谈不上藐视法院的。

  8. 总检察署在断章取义地引述我在私聊栏里的第二句话和链接《纽约时报》编辑部信息,就认定说,“(我在私聊栏里的帖子)非常明显地就是在谈到‘一个顺从的法院系统’,这是不是新加坡司法制度遵循新加坡政府所制定的方向。新加坡的司法制度不是独立的。它将无视任何法律案件的实情,在任何法律程序中继续扮演有利于新加坡的政府的角色。”

  9. 总检察署似乎已经读完我在私聊栏里的帖子内容的每一个字。它已经错误的理解我的原意了。

  10. 没有人在复制我在私聊栏里的帖子时,向我提出任何需要我澄清的问题。无论如何,我愿意在此做出澄清以解除总检察署对我的误解。

  11. 我在说新加坡是一个“顺从”的司法制度的同时,提供了《纽约时报》编辑部在20104月发表的报道链接(我提供的有关《纽约时报》编辑部链接,并不等于我接受它们的这篇报道的全部观点。)我并没有说,或者灌输了新加坡的司法制度是按照新加坡政府的所需的方向实施的、或者说它是不是具有独立性的、或者说它将无视任何法律案件的实情,在任何法律程序中继续扮演有利于新加坡的政府的角色。一个“顺从”(的司法制度)的对象是灵活的、灵活的或可适应的。这是与兼容对象相反。它是容易受到影响或者服从的。一个“法院制度”围绕着总检察署、起诉官和普遍的司法环境。如此类推,举个例子来说,如新加坡的医疗系统的效率低下,这不等于是说它的医院不称职、或者它的医生护士懒惰。新加坡的法院系统对于新闻自由是采用了不同一套的法律规则。对比与如美国这样的国家来说,有更大的灵活性找到新闻机构承担负其诽谤责任。当新加坡政府领导人起诉一名新闻记者诽谤时,比起其他国家来说,新加坡政府拥有更有利的地位。

  1. 假设阅读了我的私聊栏的里的帖子内容,它将会证明,这帖子并没有任何意图误导公众对司法的信心。我在私聊栏里的帖子第一段内容是明确地焦聚在《华尔街日报》报道的有关新加坡的政治危机。第二段内容是使用了让人关注的引号,有关新加坡政府的司法制度对付国际媒体的行为,就是对国际媒体的报道采取了新闻检查制度。

  2. 任何人批评新加坡政府,将面对新加坡政府具有侵犯性的司法起诉,诸如被司法起诉诽谤等已经造成了限制国际媒体的报道。

  3. 我在自己的私聊栏里的帖子内容并没有造成任何公众人士对于司法制度的产生信心动摇的问题。

  4. 无论如何我已经修改了我的私聊栏帖子,并澄清我的所要表达的意思了。

  5. 总检察署的来信同时也忽略了我于715日在私聊栏发表的帖子一个极其重要的事实,这就是:我在自己的facebook私聊栏里的帖子仅属于我与我的网友之间吧了。

  6. facebook设定的相关条款约定下,我在发表的任何内容或者信息时,如果是设定使用“公开(Public,那么,任何人包括了facebook以外的人都会看到和使用这些内容和信息,并与我联系。无论如何,我于715日发表的帖子无并没有设定为“公开”。这是一个私聊性质的帖子。没有人在未征得我的同意之前可以复制或者引用这个帖子。

  7. 我已经使用facebook已经超过10年了。我过去从来就没有出现过在为征得我的同意之前,就复制或者使用我的私人帖子的情况。

  8. 我完全没有同意任何人要求使用或者复制我于715日在私聊栏发表的帖子。

  9. 无论如何,于715日下午450分,一位facebook 匿名者未经我的授权下,使用快拍形式把我的这张私聊栏的帖子张贴在facebook “公开”网页上。张帖我的帖子的匿名者并不在我的facebook网友名单里。这张未经我的允许张贴在网页上的快拍帖子仍然显示了我的帖子是属于“仅属于朋友”的图标。

  10. 这张未经我授权,以快拍形式私人帖子或者内容,随后被他人复制和成为公开在facebook 是未经我的同意的。717日,主流媒体《早报》、《海峡时报》、《商业时报》、《亚洲新闻频道》和《新报》等全部都在它们的网上刊登了我的这张私聊栏的帖子。

  11. 没有任何一家媒体或者个人联系过我,要求我对此帖子进行证实或者澄清说明。

  12. 相反地,主流媒体将我的私聊帖子变成了公开新闻并广泛地传播开来,它们让高级政务部长徐芳达于716日就这帖子发表评论。徐芳达对我的私聊帖子的内容感到“遗憾”。紧接着,总检察署于717日说,正在关注着我的这张帖子。

  13. 我看到了主流媒体发表的文章,并于717日下午42分做出的回应。我把自己的facebook 网页设定为公开。以表达自己于715日在私聊栏里发表的帖子已经足于引起新加坡总检察署反应。我澄清说,我在715日张贴的帖子是属于设定了“与‘自己的网友’分享而已”(在那个时候有20个人给这帖子按了“赞”)我同时也澄清,主流媒体的报道“这帖子是在星期六张贴,并在当天较后的时间卸载下”是不准确的。事实上这帖子至今尚未卸载下来。

  14. 总检察署书的来信错误地认为我的私聊栏帖子是可以预见到将广泛地在新加坡被复制。

  15. 就我个人而言,我并不需要承担这张私聊栏的帖子在新加坡被广泛地复制的责任。

  16. 我从来就未预见到,未经我的同意,这张以快拍形式上载的帖子或者内容会被复制流传开来。

  17. 我也未曾预见到,在这帖子成为了主流媒体或者主流媒体会把我的私聊栏的帖子给了高级政务部长徐芳达,让他发表意见、或者总检察署向主流媒体发表“它们正在关注有关事件”的看法、或者主流媒体焦聚报道了高级政务部长徐芳达的意见或者总检察署的看法。

  18. 我本以为主流媒体在发布这私聊帖子内容的问题,以及它们把这帖子交给徐芳达高级政务部长和总检察署前,将会与我进行核实和寻求澄清。我于715日发表的facebook 私聊栏的帖子是仅仅属于私下的帖子。由于总检察署关注公众将会再复制我的私人帖子。或许,总检察署应该要求主流媒体和哪些上载或者复制未经我同意授权就上载我在私聊栏的帖子者删除、或者移除这帖子。我的帖子在私聊栏里的帖子仍然留在我的facebook个人网页上。我并没有卸下这帖子。我已经对这帖子那些产生误会的内容进行修改了。

 

4 August 2017

Attorney General’s Chambers

Attention: Mr. Francis Ng SC

Dear Sirs,

Your letter dated 21 July 2017

  1. I refer to the letter dated 21 July 2017 from Attorney-General’s Chambers, and to AGC’s extended deadline for my response by 5pm today.

  2. AGC takes issue with a private posting I made on Facebook on 15 July 2017 and accuses me of the offence of contempt of court because of what I said in my private post.

  3. The context of my post is everything. AGC has taken my post completely out of context.

  4. What I said in my private post comprises 2 sentences. My focus was on the first sentence. The second sentence is in parenthesis.

  5. AGC’s letter, however, quotes and takes issue only with the second sentence, omitting the parenthesis.

  6. I set out in context what I said. The second sentence is in italics but I have inserted theparenthesis as it appears in my private post: “If you have been watching the latest political crisis in Singapore from a distance but would like a summary, this is a good one. (Keep in mind, of course, that the Singapore government is very litigious and has a pliant court system. This constrains what the international media can usually report …)

  7. In my private post, I shared the article by Wall Street Journal: “Singapore, a Model of Orderly Rule, Is Jolted by a Bitter Family Feud” which summarized the political crisis I had referred to. I also provided a link to a New York Times editorial on the constraints to reporting by the international media.

  8. Viewed in context, my private posting of 15 July is not a contempt of court.

  9. AGC, refers to the second sentence of my private post and the link to the New York Times editorial, out of context, to assert that “The clear meaning of (my private post), in referring to ‘a pliant court system’, is that the Singapore Judiciary acts on the direction of the Singapore government, is not independent, and has ruled and will continue to rule in favour of the Singapore government in any proceedings, regardless of the merits of the cases.”

  10. AGC appears to have read an entire paragraph from a single word. AGC has misunderstood me.

  11. No one who publicized my private post had approached me for any clarification as to what I meant. However, I would like to make a clarification to resolve AGC’s misunderstanding.

  12. In saying that Singapore has a “pliant” court system, and in providing a link to an editorial in the New York Times in April 2010 (my providing a link to an editorial does not imply that I endorse all its contents), I am not saying or imputing that the Singapore judiciary acts on the direction of the Singapore government, or that it is not independent, or that it will continue to rule in favour of the Singapore government in any proceedings regardless of the merits. A “pliant” object is flexible, supple, or adaptable. This is in contrast to a “compliant” object that is easily influenced or yielding. A “court system” encompasses the AGC, prosecutors, and the general legal environment. By analogy, to say for instance that Singapore’s medical system is inefficient does not have to mean that its hospitals are incompetent or that its doctors are lazy. The Singapore court system operates on a different set of legal rules with respect to press freedom, compared to countries such as the United States, and has more flexibility to find the press liable for defamation. When Singapore government leaders sue a journalist for defamation, the government has a more favourable position in Singapore than in those other countries.

  13. If my private post is read in context, it is evident that it is not intended to undermine public confidence in the administration of justice. The first sentence of my private post makes clear that its focus was the coverage by the Wall Street Journal of a political crisis in Singapore. The second sentence in parenthesis cautions how the Singapore government’s litigation against the international media acts as a censorship to the coverage of the international media.

  14. Any criticism is of the Singapore government’s aggressive use of legal rules such as defamation laws which has constrained reporting by the international press.

  15. What I said in my private post in context does not pose any real risk of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice.

  16. However, I have already amended my private post to clarify my meaning.

  17. AGC’s letter also omits the significant fact that my 15 July post is a private posting for my Facebook friends only.

  18. Under Facebook’s terms of service, it is only when I publish content or information using Facebook’s “Public” setting, that everyone, including people off of Facebook, is allowed to access and use that information, and associate it with me. However, I did not use the Public setting for my post on 15 July. It was a private posting and no one is allowed to use or reproduce my post without my approval.

  19. I have used Facebook for about a decade or so. I had never before had my private postings used or reproduced without my approval.

  20. I would not have given my approval to any request to use or reproduce my 15 July private post.

  21. However, on 15 July at 4.50pm, an anonymous Facebook user posted for public viewing an unauthorized screenshot of my private post. This user is not on my Facebook “friends” list. I do not know how this user obtained the screenshot of my private post. The unauthorized screenshot showed the symbol that my post was private and for “friends” only.

  22. This unauthorized screenshot of my private post, and/or content from my private post, was thereafter further republished and made public without my approval by others. In the morning of 17 July, mainstream media ZaoBao, Straits Times, Business Times, Channelnewsasia and The New Paper all published online articles and Facebook postings relating to my private post.

  23. I was not approached by any of the media or anyone for verification or clarification.

  24. Instead, the mainstream media articles capitalized as newsworthy comments made on 16 July by Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat that he was “disappointed with” my actions and on 17 July by AGC that it was looking into my post, making my private post public news and widely circulated.

  25. I saw the mainstream media articles and in response, on 17 July at 12.42pm I made a Facebook posting on Public setting to express my surprise that my 15 July posting had been enough to trigger a response from AGC in Singapore. I clarified that the 15 July post “was shared on ‘Friends only’ privacy settings (20 likes at the time of this writing).” I also clarified that it had been inaccurately reported that the post was “uploaded on Saturday and was later taken down” when it had never been taken down.

  26. AGC’s letter further incorrectly asserts that it was forseeable that my private post would be republished widely in Singapore.

  27. I am not responsible for the widespread and unauthorized publication and republication in Singapore of my private post.

  28. I never expected that a screenshot of my private post would be leaked or the contents of my private post republished without my approval.

  29. It was also not forseeable that thereafter my private post would warrant articles by mainstream media or that mainstream media would put my private post to Senior Minister Chee for his comments or that AGC would release a comment to mainstream media that AGC is “looking into it” or that mainstream media would publish reports capitalizing on Senior Minister Chee’s comments or the AGC’s comments.

  30. I would have expected that mainstream media would verify with me and seek clarification of what was clearly a private posting before they carried their stories, and before they put my private post to Senior Minister Chee and AGC. 31. My 15 July post is confined to a private Facebook post. As AGC’s concern appears to be the public reproduction of my private post, perhaps AGC should require the mainstream media and other parties who made my private post public to delete and remove their unauthorized publications and republications. My post will remain private and has been amended to remove any misunderstanding, but not taken down.

 Yours faithfully,

Li Shengwu

 

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