The Online Citizen’s Editor Won’t Sign Charge Sheet; Faces Criminal Defamation Suit

Online Citizen Editor Charged Over Article With Corruption Allegations

It’s official. Beleaguered online publication The Online Citizen (TOC) will officially be charged with criminal defamation.

Both the editor, and writer of the post will face charges on Thursday (13 Dec), says the police.

36-year-old Mr Terry Xu Yuan Chen, TOC’s editor, has been facing investigations regarding an article that alleged “corruption within the Singapore Government”, as well as matters related to our Constitution.

Possible 2 year jail term & fine

According to the police, the article was sent over by a 35-year-old male, identified as Mr De Costa Daniel Augustin, using Willy Sum’s email account without his express permission.

Mr Xu allegedly published the article in Willy Sum’s name, without proper verification of the writer’s identity.

De Costa was arrested that same day at 2.50pm. Police also discovered he had plans to leave Singapore on a flight scheduled at 3.45pm. A search warrant allowed them to seize his electronic equipment as well.

Both parties will be charged with “criminal defamation” with possible jail terms of up to 2 years and a fine.

However, De Costa faces an additional charge for “unauthorised access to computer material” and utilising Mr Sum’s account without permission. He could face a $5,000 fine and/or a 2-year jail term.

Refused to sign charge sheet

TOC has categorically stated that Editor Xu has “refused to sign” the charge sheet.


Mr Xu acknowledges the charges, but doesn’t want his signature to be taken as “an admission of guilt”.

He will appear in state court to face his charge at 9am tomorrow.

Featured image from RSF and The Online Citizen on Facebook.

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