Singapore summons editor to explain article

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Singapore - The High Court yesterday ordered the publisher and Asia editor of the Paris-based International Herald Tribune to answer charges that they had scandalised Singapore's judiciary by publishing a commentary by an American academic. "I'm s atisfied that the Attorney-General has made out a prima-facie case," Judge Goh Joon Seng said after submissions from Chan Sek Keong, a top government lawyer, and legal representatives of the US-owned newspaper.

The publisher and chief executive, Richard McClean, and the Asia editor, Michael Richardson, must return to court next Tuesday to answer the charges.

The academic, Christopher Lingle, 46, whose commentary on how "intolerant regimes" suppressed dissent in Asia was published on 7 October, did not appear. A senior fellow at the National University of Singapore at the time, he returned to the US after questioning by police.

Mr Lingle wrote that some governments had used "a compliant judiciary to bankrupt opposition politicians" or buy out opposition politicians to take power "democratically".