Lee Hsien Yang, wife Lee Suet Fern under police investigation for lying in judicial proceedings about Lee Kuan Yew's will
SINGAPORE — Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his wife, lawyer Lee Suet Fern, are being investigated by the police for potential offences of giving false evidence in judicial proceedings over Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s will.
SINGAPORE — Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his wife, lawyer Lee Suet Fern, are being investigated by the police for potential offences of giving false evidence in judicial proceedings over Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s will.
Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security, said in a written parliamentary answer on Thursday (March 2) that as part of the investigation, the police requested an interview with the couple.
They agreed at first to the interview but later had a change of heart and refused to do so, Mr Teo added.
In response to CNA's queries, the police said on Thursday night that it started investigations against the couple following a referral in October 2021.
The police contacted both of them in June last year and asked them to assist in investigations by attending a police interview.
"They agreed to assist but requested a different date. (We) acceded to the request and scheduled an interview in July 2022 based on their availability," the police added.
However, the couple did not turn up on the agreed date and sent a letter via email stating that they would not take part in the investigation.
The police have advised them to reconsider taking part, but they have since left Singapore and are still out of the country, Mr Teo said.
The police said that they did not receive any replies to their emails asking the couple to reconsider their decision.
"The police have also informed them that the necessary steps would be taken to complete the investigation in their absence," Mr Teo said, adding that the couple's refusal to attend the interview was disappointing.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s brother, and the late Lee Kuan Yew was their father.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, took to social media to challenge Mr Lee Hsien Loong over the fate of their family home at 38 Oxley Road after the death of their father.
In a ministerial statement in Parliament in 2017, Mr Lee Hsien Loong said that he had recused himself from all government decisions relating to 38 Oxley Road, as well as from all discussions and decisions relating to the house.
In 2020, Mrs Lee was suspended from practice by the Court of Three Judges for 15 months after she was found guilty of misconduct over the handling of Lee Kuan Yew’s last will.
REFUSAL TO TAKE PART IN INVESTIGATIONS 'RAISES QUESTIONS'
On Thursday, Mr Teo — who was chair of a ministerial committee on 38 Oxley Road — noted that the Court of Three Judges and a disciplinary tribunal found that Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Mrs Lee misled Lee Kuan Yew in the context of the last will’s execution, as well as lied under oath.
Mr Teo was responding to a question filed by Member of Parliament Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim from Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency, about an e-book written by Mr Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh titled The Battle Over Lee Kuan Yew's Last Will.
Mr Teo said that the couple's refusal to participate raises questions.
"If they maintain their innocence, the investigation will give them the chance to vindicate themselves. They should participate, take the full opportunity to give their side of the story, and clear their names," he added.
"As the investigations are ongoing, I will not say more at this juncture."
In 2020, a disciplinary tribunal as well as the Court of Three Judges — the highest disciplinary body dealing with lawyers' misconduct — found that Mrs Lee and her husband misled Lee Kuan Yew in the context of the execution of his last will.
This led the court and tribunal to conclude that Mrs Lee was guilty of misconduct and they imposed a 15-month suspension.
On Thursday, Mr Teo referred to the Court of Three Judges' judgement in saying: "Mrs Lee 'focused primarily on what her husband wanted done', and 'worked together with Mr Lee Hsien Yang, with a singular purpose, of getting Mr Lee Kuan Yew to execute the last will quickly'.
"Mr Lee Kuan Yew 'ended up signing a document, which was in fact not that which he had indicated he wished to sign'."
The court and disciplinary tribunal also found that Mrs Lee and her husband lied under oath during the proceedings.
The tribunal said that the couple presented "an elaborate edifice of lies… both on oath… and through their public and other statements, which were referred to or relied upon during the disciplinary proceedings”, Mr Teo noted.
“The affidavits were contrived to present a false picture. Several of the lies were quite blatant,” he said, adding that the 15-month suspension was a serious penalty.
In a Facebook post on Thursday night, Mr Lee Hsien Yang responded to the latest developments by claiming that the "persecution of my family by Singapore authorities continues unabated" and that he "was the real target". CNA
Related topicsLee Hsien Yang Lee Suet Fern 38 Oxley Road Teo Chee Hean
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