The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has again rejected the letter of representation from Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown to drop the criminal defamation charge against her over alleged statements against the Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah, in the book "The Sarawak Report - The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose".
The AGC said this in a letter submitted to Messrs Guok Partnership, representing Rewcastle-Brown, via email today.
Based on a copy of the letter obtained by the media, the AGC said there was sufficient evidence to retain the existing charge against the accused.
The AGC also said that the decision was final and that any further letters of representation from the accused would not be entertained unless new developments warranted a review.
Both deputy public prosecutor Noor Haslinda Che Seman and Rewcastle-Brown’s counsel Guok Ngek Seong confirmed the matter when contacted.
On Jan 25, the AGC rejected Rewcastle-Brown's letter of representation before a second letter was filed on March 8.
The letter was filed following the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Oct 31 last year rejecting the defamation suit filed by Sultanah Nur Zahirah against the British journalist over the alleged defamation involving the Terengganu Investment Authority in the book.
In her letter of representation, Rewcastle-Brown said the High Court had ruled that the paragraph in the book was not defamatory, and that the prosecution would have difficulty proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt in the criminal case.
On Sept 23, 2021, Rewcastle-Brown was charged in absentia at the Kuala Terengganu Magistrate's Court under Section 500 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum jail sentence of two years, a fine, or both upon conviction.
Rewcastle-Brown's application to transfer the case to the Kuala Lumpur High Court will be heard before judge K Muniandy on May 15.