Dec 7 hearing for Terengganu Sultanah’s defamation suit against Clare

20 Jan 2020 / 14:11 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today fixed four days starting Dec 7 this year for the trial of Terengganu Sultanah, Sultanah Nur Zahirah’s defamation suit against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown and two others.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim fixed the dates in his chambers in the presence of Sultanah Nur Zahirah’s counsel A. Vishnu Kumar and counsel Americk Singh Sidhu, who represented Rewcastle Brown.

When met by reporters, Vishnu Kumar said judge Ahmad Zaidi had also fixed March 2 for case management for the parties to update the court on the status of the defendants’ appeal at the Court of Appeal against the court’s decision on the Order 14A of the Rules of Court 2012.

On Dec 13, last year, judge Ahmad Zaidi decided that Sultanah Nur Zahirah, as the plaintiff, does not have to testify in her defamation suit after granting her application under Order 14A for the case to be decided through points of law.

The judge held the case would also be decided by the testimonies of Rewcastle Brown and two others, namely Gerakbudaya Enterprise publisher Chong Ton Sin, and printer Vinlin Press Sdn Bhd.

On Oct 24, last year, Americk Singh Sidhu submitted that his client wanted the suit to be decided by way of a full trial so that she could call a language expert to testify.

On Nov 21 last year, Sultanah Nur Zahirah sued Rewcastle Brown or Clare Louis Brown, Chong and Vinlin Press, as the first to the third defendants, alleging that the first defendant made a disparaging statement about her in her book, The Sarawak Report - The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose.

The plaintiff claimed the statement could be taken to mean that she was involved in corrupt practices and interfered in Terengganu’s administration besides using her status to influence the establishment of the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) which later became 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

She alleged the statement also construed her as having helped Jho Low or Low Taek Jho to become the adviser for TIA.

Sultanah Nur Zahirah contended that she had never involved herself in the administration of Terengganu state and the establishment of TIA and therefore the statement had slandered and tarnished her reputation.

She is claiming general damages of RM100 million from each defendant and is seeking an order for the second defendant (publisher) to withdraw the book containing the defamatory statement and for the third defendant to stop further printing of the book. — Bernama

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