Hadi Agrees to Out-of-Court Settlement in Sarawak Report Suit

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PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has agreed to settle his defamation suit against Clare Rewcastle-Brown, editor of whistleblower website Sarawak Report, out of court.

A statement by Hadi’s political secretary Syahir Sulaiman said the Marang MP agreed to undisclosed terms of a settlement with Rewcastle-Brown.

He also said that Hadi finalised the settlement through a consent order dated Feb 1 at the London High Court of Justice.

“Hadi also consented to withdraw his claims against Rewcastle-Brown as the defendant, who was said to have similarly withdrawn her counterclaims.”

He said the decision was reached after scrutiny of the overall court action and on the advice of Hadi’s legal team.

No order was made as to costs.

Last month, PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad said that the party was seeking to raise RM400,000 from the public to meet the cost of the legal suit, on top of the RM2.5 million it had spent so far.

Hadi filed his defamation suit at the London High Court following an article Rewcastle Brown wrote, which Sarawak Report published on Aug 6, 2017.

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The article had alleged that RM90 million was “reckoned” to have entered the accounts of top PAS leaders to woo them into supporting Umno and Barisan Nasional.

In her defence to Hadi’s suit last April, Rewcastle-Brown said the PAS leader was not named or identified in any statement in the article.

In her counter-claim filed on Oct 11 the same year, she charged that Hadi conspired with then prime minister Najib Razak or his agents to discredit her and Sarawak Report.

She also claimed that Hadi, whether by himself or his agents, had been party to the publication of a series of articles, viciously or racially abusing, defaming and harassing her on other portals.