A high court judge in Singapore
ruled on March 19, 2009, that Melanie Kirkpatrick, deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page,
was in contempt of court for two articles and a letter to the editor published by
the Dow Jones-owned Wall Street Journal Asia
last year, according to international news reports. Kirkpatrick was ordered to
pay SG$10,000 (US$6,549), according to The Associated Press.
The Straits Times
cited court documents stating that New York-based Kirkpatrick was being charged
for "actions which resulted in the publication and distribution" of the
articles in the Journal's sister
paper in Asia
The fine was the second paid by Dow Jones since Singapore's
attorney general instituted the charges in September 2008. The judge, Tay Yong
Kwang, had already found the news group in contempt
for the articles, which challenged the independence of Singapore's judiciary in
relation to another libel case, in November 2008 and fined it SG$25,000
($16,400), according to news reports. "It is regrettable that although the
Court already imposed a fine against Dow Jones, the Attorney General still
chose to pursue additional contempt charges," Dow Jones said in a statement
provided to CPJ by e-mail by spokesman Joe Spitzer.
A judge in Singapore
found the publisher
of The Far Eastern Economic Review, another Dow Jones publication, guilty of
defamation in September 2008.