新2会员网址(www.hg108.vip):High Court rules Rewcastle-Brown's bid to challenge defamation charge premature

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High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan says Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown's application to refer two questions of law to the Federal Court will only be considered if her case is transferred to the High Court. - The Malaysian Insight file pic, August 12, 2022.

THE High Court today ruled that it was premature to refer to the Federal Court to determine the constitutionality of a criminal defamation charge framed against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

As such, judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said, he decided not to consider the merit of Rewcastle-Brown’s application to refer two questions of law to the Federal Court.

He said Rewcastle-Brown’s application to transfer her case from the Kuala Terengganu Magistrate’s Court to the Kuala Lumpur High Court had to be heard and disposed of first.

Rewcastle-Brown could make the application to refer the two questions of law, if her case was transferred to the High Court, he said, adding that the court had not decided whether to allow her application to transfer the case. 

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“In layman’s terms, the applicant’s application is still in transit. I am of the opinion that Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 would only apply if the proceedings concerned had been registered in the High Court,” he said

In September last year, Rewcastle-Brown was charged with criminal defamation at a Kuala Terengganu Magistrate’s Court over the publication of a book, The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Exposé.

She then applied to transfer the case from the Kuala Terengganu Magistrates Court to the Kuala Lumpur High Court, which was set for hearing on March 29, 2022.

However, the High Court fixed December 12 to hear the transfer application pending the hearing of Rewcastle-Brown’s request to refer the two questions of law to the Federal Court.

On Nov 21, 2018, Terengganu’s Sultanah Nur Zahirah filed a suit, naming Rewcastle-Brown, Gerakbudaya Enterprise publisher Chong Ton Sin and printing company Vinlin Press Sdn Bhd, as the first to third defendants, alleging that the first defendant made a disparaging statement about her in the book. – Bernama, August 12, 2022.


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