No legal basis to extradite Sarawak Report editor, says PKR MP

Sarawak Report’s publisher Clare Rewcastle Brown has not committed any offence under UK law, a PKR MP said. — File pic
Sarawak Report’s publisher Clare Rewcastle Brown has not committed any offence under UK law, a PKR MP said. — File pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — Putrajaya cannot extradite Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown from the UK as her alleged interference with Malaysian affairs over the blog’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (M1DB) reports is not a criminal offence in either Britain or Malaysia, a PKR lawmaker said today.

Padang Serai MP N. Surendran from PKR’s political bureau cited the UK’s Extradition Act 2003 that states that extradition can only occur if one has committed an act that constitutes an offence under UK law.

“Clare’s conduct in this case is clearly not an offence under UK law, and therefore she cannot be extradited to Malaysia,” Surendran said in a statement.

“Zahid was not even able to identify the offence which Clare is alleged to have committed under our laws. He only says that Clare ‘interfered with Malaysia’s affairs’ and that her exposé had ‘ill-intentions’. These are not criminal offences either in Malaysia or the UK,” the lawyer added, referring to Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Zahid said in a statement yesterday that Malaysian police already have a “good working relationship” with Scotland Yard and claimed it will make it easier to pursue the case against Rewcastle Brown, including extraditing the Briton if necessary.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) confirmed last Sunday it had ordered all internet service providers in Malaysia to block access to the London-based Sarawak Report blog, pending a multi-agency taskforce’s investigation on corruption claims involving the state-owned 1MDB.

Pro-government groups have accused Rewcastle Brown and Sarawak Report of interfering with Malaysia’s domestic affairs.

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