Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown was sentenced to two years in jail after being found guilty of defaming Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah.
Magistrate Nik Mohd Tarmizie Nik Mohd Shukri made the ruling on the accused in absentia today at the Terengganu Magistrates’ Court, Buletin TV3 reported.
Clare was charged under Section 500 of the Penal Code with criminal defamation over her book ‘The Sarawak Report – The Inside Story of the 1MDB Exposé’.
Section 500 provides a punishment of up to two years imprisonment, or a fine, or both.
The case involved a paragraph in Rewcastle-Brown’s initial edition of her book which mentioned the sultanah.
According to the charge sheet, the offending parts were in line seven of paragraph four on page three of the book.
“(It) contains accusations against Sultanah Nur Zahirah as underlined ‘the wife of the sultan’ which is libel where you have cause to believe that the accusation will spoil the good name of Sultanah Nur Zahirah.”
The charge sheet claimed the book was written at Lot 60048, Taman Chenderiang 21080, in Kuala Terengganu at 8am on Sept 14, 2018.
However, later editions of the book removed the paragraph concerned.
Rewcastle-Brown was charged in absentia before the state’s lower court on Sept 23, 2021.
Last December, Rewcastle-Brown and two others were ordered to pay RM300,000 in defamation damages to the sultanah and in a separate civil suit concerning the same portion of the book. – Malaysiakini