Prosecution Requests Court to Dismiss Rewcastle-Brown’s Appeal

Prosecution Requests Court to Dismiss Rewcastle-Brown’s Appeal

KUALA TERENGGANU: Today, the prosecution requested the High Court here to dismiss the appeal of Sarawak Report founder and editor, Clare Rewcastle-Brown, to set aside her conviction and two-year prison sentence for defaming the Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

The matter was disclosed by the State Director of Prosecution, Engku Ahmad Rashdi Engku Abdillah, during a case management session before Judge Datuk Hassan Abdul Ghani.

He stated that this was due to the appellant’s continuous absence from all court proceedings since the case began, including the prosecution, conviction, and appeal stages.

“I was informed that His Honour had issued an order for the appellant to be present at today’s case management. However, the appellant has evidently failed to appear.

“Therefore, I humbly request that this appeal be dismissed due to the appellant’s persistent absence from the Magistrate’s Court to the High Court.

“The appellant’s actions have automatically forfeited her rights in these court proceedings,” he said.

Engku Ahmad Rashdi added that the actions of the British woman seemed to be intended to delay the court process.

Lawyer Guok Ngek Seong, representing Rewcastle-Brown, requested to respond to the prosecution’s arguments. However, Hassan advised him to do so at the next hearing on July 21, given that the appeal record had not yet been received from the Magistrate’s Court.

The judge also reiterated the order for the appellant to attend the next proceedings.

Guok later informed reporters that they had submitted a brief argument regarding the appellant’s absence.

“For today’s case management, we also filed an appeal petition on Tuesday after the Magistrate’s Court provided its judgment on the same day,” he said.

During the first appeal case management on May 7, Hassan directed Rewcastle-Brown to appear in court today.

On February 7, the Magistrate’s Court sentenced Rewcastle-Brown to two years in prison after finding her guilty of defaming Sultanah Nur Zahirah under Section 500 of the Penal Code.

Rewcastle-Brown, who resides in London, United Kingdom, wrote a book titled “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose,” which allegedly contained defamatory statements against the Sultanah of Terengganu.

She was accused of committing the act at 8 am on September 14, 2018, at Lot 60048, Taman Chendering Utama, here, under Section 500 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, a fine, or both.

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