PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The Court of Appeal has postponed to March 24 next year hearing of to hear the appeal by Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown and two others against a High Court's decision in exempting the Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah, from testifying in her defamation suit against the former.
Rewcastle-Brown's lawyer Americk Sidhu said the hearing did not proceed today (Nov 26) and the court postponed it to March 24, next year.
A case management was instead conducted today before deputy registrar Mohd Khairi Haron.
Sultanah Nur Zahirah's counsel, Datuk Mohd Haaziq Pillay Abdullah, confirmed the new date for the appeal hearing.
On Dec 13 last year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur allowed Sultanah Nur Zahirah's application for the suit to be disposed by way of Order 14A of the Rules of the Court 2012 through determination on points of law.
Following the court's decision, Sultanah Nur Zahirah is exempted from testifying in the defamation suit which she filed in November 2018 against Rewcastle-Brown or Clare Louis Brown, Gerakbudaya Enterprise publisher Chong Ton Sin and printer Vinlin Press Sdn Bhd.
In her statement of claim, Sultanah Nur Zahirah alleged that Rewcastle-Brown made a disparaging statement about her in her book, The Sarawak Report – The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose.
The Sultanah claimed that the statement could be taken to mean that she was involved in corrupt practices and interfered in the state’s administration, besides using her status to influence the establishment of the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA, ) which later became 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Sultanah Nur Zahirah also alleged that the statement had construed her as having helped Jho Low or Low Taek Jho to become the adviser of TIA.
She contended that she had never involved herself in the administration of Terengganu and establishment of TIA and therefore the statement had slandered and tarnished her reputation.
The Sultanah is claiming general damages of RM100mil from each defendant and also seeking an order for the publisher to withdraw the book containing the defamatory statement and for the printer to stop printing the book. – Bernama