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Rewcastle Brown to ask AG to drop criminal defamation charge – Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown will make representations to the Attorney-General asking that a criminal defamation charge brought against her be dropped.
Lawyer Guok Ngek Seng said this follows the dismissal by the High Court of a RM300 million defamation suit brought by Terengganu’s Sultanah Nur Zahirah against the British journalist, publishers Gerakbudaya Enterprise and Chong Ton Sin, and printer Vinlin Press Sdn Bhd.
Judicial commissioner Lee Kien How @ Johan Abdullah had on Oct 31 ruled that a statement complained of in a book titled “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose”, which was the subject matter of the suit, was not defamatory of the sultanah.
“We will be filing the representations soon since the civil High Court had dismissed the suit on a balance of probabilities, which is a lower standard of proof,” Guok told FMT.
The standard of proof required in criminal proceedings is beyond reasonable doubt, which is higher than the standard set for civil actions.
Guok said he informed High Court deputy registrar Catherine Nicholas of his intention to put forward representations on Rewcastle Brown’s behalf during case management earlier today.
Rewcastle Brown was charged in absentia last September with defaming the sultanah in the book which was released in Malaysia four years ago.
Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Nur Haslinda Che Seman informed Nicholas that the case was scheduled to begin in Kuala Terengganu next month.
In October, Rewcastle Brown applied for the case to be transferred from the magistrates’ court in Kuala Terengganu to Kuala Lumpur, and later for it to be struck out.
The applications were scheduled to be heard today before High Court judge Zaini Mazlan but the hearing was vacated as the DPP conducting the case was on medical leave.
The court has fixed it for hearing on Feb 2.
Counsel Tiaw Poh Nee held a watching brief for the sultanah.
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