Sept 10 hearing for Sarawak Report editor's appeal bid in Sultanah Nur Zahirah's suit


PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has set Sept 10 to hear an application by Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown and two others for leave to appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling holding them liable for defaming the Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

Sultanah Nur Zahirah's lawyer Datuk Mohd Haaziq Pillay Abdullah, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed the new hearing date.

He said the hearing would be held online via Zoom, unless the court directs otherwise.

A case management was held before Federal Court deputy registrar Husna Dzulkifly on Tuesday (June 11) to fix the hearing date.

On May 30 this year, the Federal Court postponed the hearing after Rewcastle Brown's lead counsel Americk Singh Sidhu was unable to log into the online proceedings due to technical issues.

Judge Tan Sri Nallini Pathmanathan, who chaired the Federal Court three-member bench, informed the parties concerned that the court would set a case management date to schedule a new hearing date.

Rewcastle-Brown is seeking permission from the Federal Court to appeal against the Court of Appeal ruling which found her, Gerakbudaya Enterprise publisher Chong Ton Sin and printer Vinlin Press Sdn Bhd liable for defaming the Sultanah Nur Zahirah in her book, "The Sarawak Report -The Inside Story of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (IMDB) Expose."

The appellate court awarded RM300,000 in damages to Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

On Dec 12 last year, the Court of Appeal overturned the Oct 31, 2022 High Court decision which had dismissed Sultanah Nur Zahirah's RM100mil lawsuit against the editor, Chong and Vinlin Press.

The Court of Appeal ruled that at the time of publication of the book, the statement was calculated to expose the Sultanah to hatred, ridicule or contempt.

Sultanah Nur Zahirah filed the suit in 2018, claiming the defendants (Rewcastle-Brown, Gerakbudaya Enterprise and Vinlin Press) defamed her in the book. – Bernama

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