KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak Report’s chief editor Clare Rewcastle Brown has reportedly failed to furnish evidence at the London High Court over claims that Pas president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang had received a RM90 million bribe from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
New Straits Times reported The Third Force’s writer Raggie Jessy’s posting saying Brown did not meet the 4pm deadline (United Kingdom time) yesterday, to substantiate the allegations. Her failure has breached a Aug 2,2017 court order which required her to file and serve defence by yesterday’s deadline.
“As a result, the Sarawak Report chief editor will now have to return to court in October, where it is likely that her counsel will make another attempt to seek an extension.
“Nonetheless, today’s development is set to trigger an alarm within the (Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad)-led Malaysian opposition coalition that has painstakingly demonised Najib based on her articles,” Jessy wrote in the political news portal.
Raggie claimed the former prime minister would now have to clarify Brown’s failure to produce the evidence, adding that he was likely to be concerned about the public’s view of him. It would also raise the question whether Brown was paid to smear Najib’s reputation.
“The onus is now on Dr Mahathir to explain just why Clare failed to produce the ‘smoking gun evidence’ that served as the basis for his attacks against the leadership of Najib.
“The former premier’s biggest fear is that Malaysians will begin to see him for the crook he is, and question if he did indeed pay Clare off to blacken Najib’s name.”
Hadi sued Brown over an allegedly defamatory article titled ‘As Najib Denies All Over 1MDB, Let’s Not Forget His Many Other Criminal Connections – COMMENT’ published on Aug 6 last year, which Hadi claimed is false.
The article insinuated Hadi had received RM90 million in bribes from Najib.
Raggie said the Pas president had instructed his lawyers to demand an apology from Brown through three letters, none of which she has responded to.
“Despite having ample time since last year to put together her evidence, Brown failed to offer a shred of it, meaning the abundance of documents she claims to possess against Najib, are nothing but fabrications.
“If indeed the documents were genuine, why is she so reluctant to adduce them? Wouldn’t the submission of such ‘evidences’ have convinced the judge that Najib was a shoddy character capable of bribing someone like Hadi?
“Her failure to do so goes a long way to show that she had malicious intent to depose a democratically elected leader of a sovereign nation. And now that the tide seems to be against her favour, she attempted to drag the trial past the 14th General Election, by seeking an extension from the judge.”
Raggie wrote Brown had yet to deny a recent confirmation by “whistleblower sources” from the United States over allegations of Dr Mahathir channelling “millions” to her accounts in efforts to topple Najib.
“Not only did the Sarawak Report Chief Editor deny this (the latest allegation against her), she has yet to debunk articles in which I accused her of conspiring to sabotage 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) and to turn the Chinese government against the administration of Najib.”