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Blogger pays PM Lee's lawyers in cash

Blogger Roy Ngerng has made the payment of $29,000 owed in costs to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, reported The Straits Times Online.

He did so yesterday evening to Drew & Napier, the law firm representing Mr Lee.

This comes after Mr Ngerng and his lawyer M. Ravi missed a number of deadlines to make the payment, which had been ordered by the High Court last month after Mr Ngerng was found to have defamed Mr Lee.

Mr Ngerng said Mr Ravi had handed him the money of his own accord, asking him to make the payment directly.

"Ravi explained that he is in the midst of setting up his new firm and hasn't been able to process the payment to Drew & Napier yet.

He handed me back the money and asked me to make the payment directly to Drew & Napier," Mr Ngerng said, as quoted in the report.

Visited office with cash

On Feb 3, Mr Ngerng had called Drew & Napier with the intention of visiting its office and making the payment in cash.

But the Prime Minister's press secretary, Ms Chang Li Lin, said that "under the lawyers' professional rules, a lawyer cannot without the consent of the opposite party's lawyer deal directly with the opposite party".

Mr Lee's lawyers wrote to Mr Ravi the same day to ask if he would have any objections to them being paid directly by Mr Ngerng.

They did not get a reply and eventually wrote another letter to ask that the payment be made by noon on Monday.

Yesterday, Mr Ngerng went to Drew & Napier's offices with the $29,000 in cash. The firm again wrote to Mr Ravi, but did not get a reply, said Ms Chang.

At around 7.30pm, a representative from Mr Ravi's law firm called Drew & Napier to give approval and Mr Ngerng handed over the money.

bloggerRoy Ngerng