Ex-AG special officer files appeal in lawsuit against Rewcastle-Brown


Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle Brown - filepic/ NORAFIFI EHSAN / The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Former attorney general (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s special officer, Mabel Sheela Mutthiah has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of her legal suit against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

The appeal was filed on Monday (May 20) by law firm David Gurupatham & Koay, which acted for the retired Sessions Court judge.

The suit is related to three articles published in Sarawak Report, including one titled "How AG’s office connived to prevent a second post-mortem on Kevin Morais - Exclusive expose".

On May 2, Judicial Commissioner Datuk Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin Shah Raja Mohzan rejected the suit with costs of RM15,000, after finding that the plaintiff (Mabel) failed to translate the allegedly defamatory articles into Malay language.

He pointed out that the requirement for complete pleadings in Malay language is tritely attributed to the language’s supremacy as a national language.

Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin said the relevant provisions are enshrined in Article 152 of the Federal Constitution as well as Section 8 of the National Language Act 1963/67 and Order 92 Rule 1 of the Rules of Court 2012.

He further said that the article clearly suggested that the plaintiff was involved in a conspiracy of some kind at the highest level to cheat the family of the late deputy public prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais of their rights to a second independent post-mortem report.

However, Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin said the plaintiff is not entitled to any compensation for damages resulting from the defamatory articles as a result of the failure to provide the certified translation in Malay.

Mabel filed the suit against Rewcastle-Brown in 2019 over articles linking her to alleged text messages sent to the family of Morais, who was murdered in September 2015.

She denied the alleged claim in the article and initiated the lawsuit to seek damages from Rewcastle-Brown, as well as a court order for the article to be removed from the Sarawak Report website.- Bernama

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