Sarawak Report editor to contest suit filed by ex-AGC officer

Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown has appointed a local legal firm to contest a RM100 million defamation suit filed against her by the former special officer to former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali.

V Mabel Sheila Muttiah’s lawyer David Gurupatham said the firm, Suflan T H Liew & Partners, wrote to him last week that they would be representing Rewcastle-Brown.

“They have denied the contents in a letter of demand which we sent to Rewcastle-Brown earlier and informed us that they have instructions to appear for her and contest the suit,” David said.

As such, the lawyer said he would be withdrawing an application for leave to serve the writ of summons and statement of claim against Rewcastle-Brown in the United Kingdom.

“The appointment of the local firm has now simplified matters in an otherwise complicated procedure. We will serve the legal papers on them soon,” he told FMT.

David said he would inform the High Court registrar on the latest development, including the withdrawal of the leave application filed last week for which a case management was scheduled on Sept 17.

On July 11, Rewcastle-Brown said she was unaware of the lawsuit being filed against her by Mabel, who is now a Sessions Court judge in Petaling Jaya.

She will be transferred to serve as Sessions Court judge in Johor Baru next week, following a promotion.

Mabel said the suit was filed for “a very serious allegation levelled against a member of the administration of justice”.

In the statement of claim, Mabel is asking for aggravated and exemplary damages, together with an injunction against causing further defamation, as well as a mandatory order for Rewcastle-Brown to remove the posting from the website.

The Sarawak Report article, titled “How AG’s Office connived to prevent a second post-mortem on Kevin Morais – exclusive expose”, had alleged that Mabel had sent texts to the family members of the late deputy public prosecutor, urging them to expedite the cremation of his remains to prevent a second post-mortem.

The remains of Morais were found in a steel drum after he was kidnapped from his car on the way to work in September 2015.

A former army doctor and five others have been charged with his murder and the trial is going on.