November 27, 2008 / 6:24 AM / 10 years ago

Singaporeans jailed for kangaroo T-shirts in court

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Three Singaporeans were jailed on Thursday after being charged with contempt of court for showing up at Singapore’s Supreme Court wearing T-shirts depicting kangaroos in judges robes.

Members of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) pose in front of the Supreme Court while wearing T-shirts depicting a kangaroo in a judge's costume in Singapore May 26, 2008. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Isrizal Bin Mohamed Isa and Muhammad Shafi’ie Syahmi Bin Sariman were sentenced to seven days’ jail, while Tan Liang Joo John received 15 days imprisonment. They were each ordered to pay S$5,000 (2,147 pounds) in costs.

Tan is the Assistant Secretary-General of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party, led by Chee Soon Juan.

The three had worn the T-shirts at a court hearing in May to determine the damages that Chee Soon Juan and his sister Chee Siok Chin were to pay after being found guilty of defaming Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and former leader Lee Kuan Yew.

Singapore’s attorney-general said in bringing the case to court the trio had “scandalised the Singapore judiciary.”

Singapore bans gatherings and protests in all public areas without a permit except Speakers’ Corner, the country’s equivalent of the historic free-speech haven in London’s Hyde Park.

Reporting by Matthew Webster; Editing by David Fogarty

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