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August 3, 2007

Court rejects FEER bid to end libel suit
Singapore's Court of Appeal has rejected a final bid by the Far Eastern Economic Review to dismiss a libel suit brought against the magazine by two of the city-state's top leaders, state radio 93.8 Live said on August 3.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and former premier Lee Kuan Yew sued the magazine and its editor, Hugo Restall, over an article published last July which criticised the government's handling of a pay-and-perks scandal at the country's largest charity. The monthly magazine is owned by Dow Jones & Co.

Peter Low, a lawyer representing the Far Eastern Economic Review, told Reuters that the magazine has one week to file its defence. He declined to confirm the Court of Appeal's ruling.

In June, Singapore's High Court dismissed the magazine's application to be represented by a top British lawyer. The Southeast Asian city-state has for decades taken a tough stance on foreign media when they report on local politics.

The government has used measures including restrictions on circulation and defamation suits, and has banned international media organisations in the past. Reuters

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