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Malaysia

Rewcastle-Brown relieved Najib charged in court

Founder and editor of Sarawak Report, Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

Rewcastle-Brown, who was among the first to expose the 1MDB multibillion-dollar scandal, said she was relieved because the authorities finally took control of the case after two years.

“I am relieved now. I am hugely relieved that the Malaysian authorities are now taking control of this case after two years of refusing to take on the case.

Asked if she expected her 528-page “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose” book to be banned in the country, Rewcastle-Brown noted that she was aware some might think it would prejudice the trial of the 1MDB case.

“I’m sure Najib’s lawyers will now try to gag any report, including my book, on the basis that some kind of contempt or prejudice will be involved in the trial.

“The court rightly ruled that the arguments don’t hold water on contempt. The contempt laws are there to prevent media coverage influencing jury trials. But this is not a jury trial, therefore the laws don’t apply.

“I’m sure the judges are professional lawyers and they know how to come to a conclusion based on the evidence put before them in the trial and not something written by a journalist,” said Rewcastle-Brown.

The Sarawak-born Briton pointed out that the case is of enormous public interest in Malaysia and the people should not be left in the dark.

“It is not acceptable for the whole thing to be kept silent for several years while the court case continues, especially when the excuse is not relevant,” she said.

On Thursday, Najib was charged for the third time in about three months over RM2.6 billion, allegedly linked to 1MDB funds, found in his bank account.

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