Deputy public prosecutor Yusaini Amer Abdul Karim said the criminal proceeding was instituted based on evidence relevant to the charge….
Rewcastle Brown, a British citizen, was charged in absentia at the Kuala Terengganu magistrates court in September.
Yusaini said the prosecution also vehemently denies the allegation that the charge was a “back door way to get even” with Rewcastle Brown…
“The criminal proceeding that was instituted was based on the evidence that is relevant to the charge which is read against the accused,” he said in the affidavit filed last week sighted by FMT.
This session relates to the upgrading to ‘criminal’ of the Sultanah of Terengganu’s complaint against the book The Sarawak Report.
As Sarawak Report has already made clear these new charges, prosecuted a full three years after the matter was first referred to the police, are based on a police report that included a doctored version of the English sentence being complained about.
The doctoring of the text from what was actually published in the book appears designed to substantiate a surprising and tendentious claim that the sentence sought to suggest the Sultanah was the most important person in Terengganu (as opposed to a dutiful subordinate to her spouse). This is at the core of her ‘libel’ complaint.
In fact, the book just described her as “a key player” given her social position (Queen at the time) and powers of introduction. However, this fundamental inaccuracy through the changing of the words from what is actually in the book appears not to have bothered the prosecutors.
The prosecutors have also told the court that it is wrong to make the point that ‘Criminal Libel’ is not listed as a crime in the UK. They refute the point that it cannot be prosecuted against the author where she resides. Except that anyone can google the fact that it was removed from the statute books in Britain in 2010, having not been employed against anyone for over a hundred years and considered thoroughly outdated and undemocratic.
Prosecutors have also accused the author of having ‘fled’ Malaysia as if she was somehow a citizen, had residence or had any reason to be anywhere near Malaysia since Covid broke out two years ago. The sin appears to be a failure to predict a later resurrection of a complaint that had been shelved by police at the time and then not to illegally overstay in order to be arrested two years into the future.
What do Malaysians think the world will make of all this?