AGC rejects representation to drop Rewcastle-Brown's criminal defamation charge

KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney General's Chambers have rejected a representation sent by Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown (pic) to set aside a criminal defamation charge involving Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

Lawyer Guok Ngek Seng, who represented Rewcastle-Brown, said that AGC had dismissed the representation through an email on Jan 25.

"We will be submitting a new representation to the AGC soon," he said when met by reporters here after case management before Deputy Registrar Catherine Nicholas on Thursday (Feb 2).

Guok said during the case management, the court has fixed March 10 for the next case management before High Court judge Justice K. Muniandy, who is taking over from Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

Justice Mohamed Zaini had recently been elevated to the Court of Appeal.

Rewcastle-Brown filed the representation on Dec 13 last year after the High Court here dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Sultanah Nur Zahirah against her (Rewcastle-Brown) over her book, "The Sarawak Report - The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose".

On Sept 23, 2021, Rewcastle-Brown was charged in absentia in a Terengganu Magistrate's Court under Section 500 of the Penal Code for allegedly criminally defaming the Terengganu Sultanah through contents of a book on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

She was accused of having defamed the Terengganu Sultanah, through a line on page three of Rewcastle-Brown’s book "The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Exposé" that had mentioned "the wife of the Sultan".

On March 28, 2022, she filed an application to transfer the case to the Kuala Lumpur High Court, citing reasons that she would not have a fair and impartial trial at the lower court as the complainant in the case was the Sultan of Terengganu himself.

The proceedings in Terengganu are currently on hold pending the disposal of the transfer application in Kuala Lumpur.

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