THE defamation suit against Singapore Swimming Club president Freddie Koh has been dismissed with costs, on the grounds that the criticism was justified.

The suit was filed in 2008 by four former management committee members of the club, who alleged that Mr Koh had cast aspersions on them, citing they had misrepresented facts in the minutes of a meeting that year.

In her judgment issued yesterday, Justice Judith Prakash wrote that Mr Koh had 'justified the gist of the defamatory sting and is not liable to the plaintiffs for defamation'. She found that Mr Michael Ho Bok Kee, Mr Robin Tan Hock Lay, Mr Nicholas Chong Tjee Teng and Mr Bernard Chan Cheng Wah had indeed misrepresented facts about the installation of a new filtration system for the club's two Olympic-size pools.

These misrepresentations included telling club members that $168,800 had been required to address an emergency - a defective filtration system.
Mr Koh's lawyer, Senior Counsel Hri Kumar Nair, had convinced the court that the $168,800 also went to pay for items totally unrelated to the emergency, such as a new system for the jacuzzis.

Last year, the court heard that one of the two Olympic-size pools was closed in November 2007 due to complaints that the water had a yellow tinge and induced rashes in some children.

Defamation suit dismissed