PETALING JAYA: The Kuala Terengganu magistrates’ court today sentenced Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown to two years in jail for defaming Sultanah Nur Zahirah in her book on 1MDB.
Harian Metro reported that magistrate Nik Mohd Tarmizie Nik Mohd Shukri found her guilty of criminal defamation.
The court ordered the jail sentence to start today. However, Rewcastle Brown was not in court and the case proceeded without her (in absentia).
The court had issued an arrest warrant against her when she was charged in 2021.
Separately in 2018, Terengganu’s Sultanah Nur Zahirah had filed a defamation suit against Rewcastle Brown, publisher Chong Ton Sin and printer Vinlin Press Sdn Bhd, claiming that the writer had made a disparaging statement in the book.
In that case, the Sultanah was awarded RM300,000 in damages in December after the Court of Appeal found Rewcastle Brown, Chong and Vinlin Press liable for defamation.
Sultanah Nur Zahirah had claimed in the civil suit that a particular statement in the book could be taken to mean she was involved in corrupt practices and had interfered in Terengganu’s administration, besides using her status to influence the establishment of Terengganu Investment Authority or TIA.
She had also claimed that the statement had construed her as having helped fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, to become the adviser of TIA.