Interpol urged to clarify standing on arrest warrant for Rewcastle Brown

PETALING JAYA: Interpol is being urged to clarify its standing on the arrest warrant issued for Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown.

Fourteen organisations including the International Press Institute and Reporters Without Borders, called for Interpol to clarify the situation to ensure Rewcastle Brown's upcoming visit to Spain will take place without incident.

"As of Sept 23, Ms Rewcastle Brown has been subject to a new arrest warrant in Malaysia. According to media reports, she is wanted over criminal defamation charges brought by the wife of the Sultan of Terengganu regarding statements made about her in Rewcastle Brown’s 2018 book about the 1MDB scandal.

"If a Red Notice has been issued, Rewcastle Brown could be arrested when she travels to Spain later this week to visit an elderly relative who needs her support. There is also a risk that she could be held in detention and face extradition to Malaysia," the statement said.

On Sept 23, the Kuala Terengganu Magistrate’s Court issued a warrant of arrest against Rewcastle Brown for failing to be in court to face a charge of defaming the Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

Sultanah Nur Zahirah, who filed the suit on Nov 21, 2018, claimed that the disparaging statement by Rewcastle Brown could be taken to mean that she was involved in corrupt practices and interfered in Terengganu's administration besides using her status to influence the establishment of Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), which later became 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

She claimed that the statement also construed her as having helped fugitive businessman Jho Low, or Low Taek Jho, to become the adviser for TIA.

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