Lawyer: Sarawak Report's statement not an apology, Terengganu Sultanah will still sue

Sarawak Report's editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown is sued by Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah over allegations in a book regarding the 1MDB financial scandal. — Picture by Razak Ghazali
Sarawak Report's editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown is sued by Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah over allegations in a book regarding the 1MDB financial scandal. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 ― The Terengganu Sultanah will still be suing Sarawak Report's editor over allegations in a book regarding the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal, her lawyer said today.

Lawyer Datuk Mohd Haaziq Pillay Abdullah, who is acting for the Terengganu Sultanah, also said that the Sarawak Report's clarification yesterday on the matter did not amount to an apology.

“How can that be an apology? The lawsuit...at this moment, it's still going on,” he told Malay Mail when contacted today.

He said a press conference scheduled tomorrow morning at the Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel ― to announce details of the Terengganu Sultanah's planned lawsuit ― will still be held despite Sarawak Report's statement.

“Of course it will go on, that's not an apology by my standards. We are proceeding, there's no stopping, the press conference is definitely going on,” he said.

Yesterday, Mohd Haaziq's law firm had issued an invitation to the media to the Saturday press conference on the details of a lawsuit to be filed by the Terengganu Sultanah against Sarawak Report's editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown over the latter's book titled The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Exposé.

“The suit involved allegations of her Royal Highness Sultanah Nur Zahirah’s conspiracy with Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) and her involvement in government administration in the 1MDB affair,” the law firm had said in the media invite.

After the media invite was issued, Sarawak Report issued a statement yesterday where it apologised if the Terengganu Sultanah had been “upset by any misinterpretations” of the book's content.

Among other things, Sarawak Report yesterday clarified that the book does not suggest that the Terengganu Sultanah conspired with Jho Low or was personally involved in 1MDB or its precursor Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA).

Sarawak Report also said a careful reading of the short allegedly offending passage in the book should make it clear that there was no allegation made against anyone in the Terengganu royal family about the 1MDB affair, which took place after Terengganu's involvement in the fund ceased.

On September 14, the Terengganu Royal Council of Regency issued a statement denying the Sultanah’s involvement in any government administrative affairs and in particular, the establishment of the TIA.

The Council had also demanded a rectification of the statement and an apology for the “irresponsible” writings.

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