Aussie news crew arrested in Sarawak barred from leaving country

An officer with the prime minister’s security detail described the crew’s approach as 'aggressive' in the report he later lodged against them. — Reuters pic
An officer with the prime minister’s security detail described the crew’s approach as 'aggressive' in the report he later lodged against them. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 ― Police have confiscated the travel documents of an ABC News reporter and cameraman who were yesterday detained for “aggressively” approaching Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

According to the Australian news outlet, journalist Linton Besser and camera operator Louie Eroglu had their passports seized despite being released after questioning yesterday.

“Their passports have been taken and they have been told not to leave the country,” the news outlet said on its website today.

It also added that the duo with its Four Corners news programme was in Malaysia to investigate a local corruption scandal.

Earlier today, Sarawak police said the two were detained in Kota Sentosa in the state after they allegedly crossed a security cordon to try and interview Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

An officer with the prime minister’s security detail described the crew’s approach as “aggressive” in the report he later lodged against them.

The two men were arrested after they allegedly refused to comply with police instructions to remain behind the cordon.

Police are investigating the incident under Section 186 of the Penal Code that pertains to the obstruction of a public servant in the discharge of his duties.

Besser and Eroglu are out on police bail after they were released this morning.

The two arrived in Malaysia on March 5.