April 1, 2019 / 5:50 AM / 2 months ago

Singapore PM's nephew loses appeal over papers in high-profile contempt case

FILE PHOTO - Li Shengwu, nephew of Singapore's prime minister, who faces contempt of court proceedings in his homeland as he studies economics at Harvard University, is seen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. on August 12, 2017. Picture taken on August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Tim McLaughlin

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A Singapore court on Monday dismissed an appeal by the prime minister’s nephew regarding a contempt of court case that has stirred a bitter public feud among the city-state’s first family.

The attorney general’s office (AGC) began proceedings against Li Shengwu, an assistant professor at Harvard University, in 2017 over a Facebook post in which he said the Singapore government is “very litigious and has a pliant court system”.

Li’s appeal argued the AGC was wrong to serve him court documents outside Singapore. If upheld, it could have given Li’s legal team the chance to suspend the case against him.

Li’s Facebook post came amid a public feud among the children of the island’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, including the current prime minister.

Li’s father, Lee Hsien Yang, and his aunt have accused their older brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, of going against their father’s wish to have the family house demolished and trying to use it for political gains.

The prime minister has questioned whether his father wanted the home to be knocked down and he has recused himself from government discussions on the matter.

Reporting by John Geddie; Editing by Neil Fullick

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