Slander Against Sultanah Terengganu: Rewcastle-Brown Obligated to Appear in Appeal Proceedings

Slander Against Sultanah Terengganu: Rewcastle-Brown Obligated to Appear in Appeal Proceedings

KUALA TERENGGANU: The High Court here today directed Sarawak Report founder and editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown to appear in court for the management of her appeal case to set aside the conviction and two-year imprisonment for defaming Sultanah Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

Judge Datuk Hassan Abdul Ghani made the directive during today’s first proceedings of the appeal management involving the British national, who was convicted under Section 500 of the Penal Code by the Magistrate’s Court here on February 7 last year.

“Is the appellant not present?” Hassan asked lawyer Guok Ngek Seong, who represented Rewcastle-Brown, before Guok confirmed the matter.

Guok stated that through the appeal notice submitted on February 8, they also requested a revision of power for the case, claiming that the Magistrate’s Court’s previous decision was null and void, besides not receiving the appeal records from the Magistrate’s Court.

Guok then requested for the next case management to be conducted online, as he was in the capital city and faced difficulties in getting a lawyer here.

Additionally, Rewcastle-Brown had previously appealed not to attend the appeal hearing.

“I order attendance in court. No Zoom or anything; ensure the appellant attends court,” Hassan said before setting June 6 for the next case management.

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

Rewcastle-Brown, based in London, United Kingdom, was accused of writing a book entitled “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of 1MDB Expose,” which allegedly contained slander against Sultanah Terengganu.

The slander, as outlined, against the Sultanah on page three, paragraph four, and seventh line constituted an act of defamation that Rewcastle-Brown knew would tarnish the name of Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

She was accused of committing the act at 8 a.m. on September 14, 2018, at Lot 60048, Taman Chendering Utama, here, under Section 500 of the Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment of up to two years or a fine or both.

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