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Sarawak Report editor's appeal against decision allowing Terengganu Sultanah not to testify fixed for Nov 26

PUTRAJAYA (Nov 3): The Court of Appeal has maintained Nov 26 as the hearing date for Sarawak Report's editor Clare Rewcastle Brown and the publisher of her book's appeal against the High Court decision in allowing Terengganu's Sultanah Nur Zahirah's application of not testifying in court over her defamation suit against them on a book in relation to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Today had been fixed for case management of the matter before Court of Appeal deputy registrar Mohd Khairi Haron via eReview, and the appellate court maintained the Nov 26 hearing date.

This is confirmed by counsel Americk Sidhu, who represents Rewcastle Brown and the publishers, and Datuk Mohd Haziq Pillay, who appears for the sultanah, to theedgemarkets.com.

It was previously reported that on Dec 13 last year, High Court Justice Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim allowed the Sultanah's application under Order 14A of the Rules of Court 2012 to dispose of part of the trial through points of law.

Justice Ahmad Zaidi said the sultanah as the plaintiff had succeeded in proving that the alleged defamatory passage on Page 3 of the book titled "The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Exposé" was referring to her.

The judge said the court was of the view that she had managed all the four elements required in the defamation suit and hence is exempted from testifying in open court despite Rewcastle Brown's counsel saying the sultanah's evidence was crucial.

Sultanah Nur Zahirah sued Rewcastle Brown, Gerakbudaya Enterprise Sdn Bhd publisher Chong Ton Sin and printer Vinlin Press Sdn Bhd for defamation over the book's publication.

In her suit, she alleged that a passage had linked her to the 1MDB scandal and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, who is better known as Jho Low.

She claimed the statements in the book implied that she was involved in corrupt acts and had interfered in the Terengganu administration.

Hence, Sultanah Nur Zahirah is seeking RM100 million in damages and wants Chong to withdraw the books containing the defamatory words and stop the printer from publishing more copies.

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