Sarawak Report editor files appeal against conviction, sentence

KUALA LUMPUR – The founder and editor of Sarawak Report, Clare Rewcastle-Brown (picture), has filed an appeal against the two-year prison sentence imposed by the Kuala Terengganu Magistrate’s Court for her defamation conviction involving the Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

Rewcastle-Brown filed a notice of appeal at the Kuala Terengganu High Court, to set aside both her conviction and the imposed sentence.

Rewcastle-Brown appealed for the court to review the sentence under Sections 323 to 327 of the Criminal Procedure Code or Sections 31 and 35 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964, as well as not to be present during the appeal hearing.

Her lawyer, Guok Ngek Seong confirmed the matter when contacted today.

Yesterday, Magistrate Nik Mohd Tarmizie Nik Mohd Shukri sentenced Rewcastle-Brown to two years in prison after finding her guilty of defamation against the Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah, upon concluding that the prosecution had successfully proved a prima facie case against her.

According to the charges, Rewcastle-Brown, who has a London, United Kingdom address, wrote a book titled “The Sarawak Report – The Inside Story of 1MDB Expose” which contains accusations against the Sultanah of Terengganu.

The specific defamatory content, highlighted on page three, paragraph four, and line seven, was the phrase “the wife of the Sultan,” which was deemed a deliberate act aimed at tarnishing the reputation of Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

She was charged with committing the offence at 8 am, Sept 14, 2018, at Lot 60048, Taman Chendering Utama here.

The charge was framed under Section 500 of the Penal Code which provides for a prison sentence of up to two years or a fine or both, upon conviction. – BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE