KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s case management involving his civil suit against Sarawak Report founder and editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, favoured on behalf of the PAS president.
The Case management took place at the Courts in London, United Kingdom on Aug 2.
In a statement, Hadi’s political secretary Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said the case management arose after Rewcastle-Brown applied to the court for the Marang member of parliament to deposit monies with the court as a security for legal costs involving the parties court proceedings.
“This is in the event he (Hadi) was to lose the case and would have to pay Rewcastle-Brown’s legal costs, which she estimates to be around £800,000 (RM4.5 million) in total for the whole hearing till completion.”
The civil suit is related to an article titled ‘As Najib Denies All Over 1MDB, Let’s Not Forget His Many Other Criminal Connections – COMMENT’ published on Aug 6 last year which Hadi’s counsel claimed as being false.
The article purportedly alleges that Hadi had received bribes from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the tune of RM90 million.
Hadi was represented by lawyers from the legal firm of Carter-Ruck and barrister Jacob Dean.
Carter-Ruck, assisted by a legal opinion from a law expert in Malaysia had successfully argued, that there exists well-established laws between the UK and Malaysia which allows for Brown to claim the costs through Malaysian courts, which will see a cost of not more than RM80,000.
“Based on his confidence on the case from the beginning, Hadi had already offered to deposit this amount with the court, which was sufficient and uncontroversial.
“Rewcastle-Brown’s arguments that she cannot successfully bring a legal suit against Hadi in Malaysia as the judiciary, government and the Prime Minister are corrupted and are complicit with him was rejected by the court.
“As the court observed, these serious allegations were not supported by any evidence from Rewcastle-Brown whatsoever, despite having months to provide some,” he said.
Samsuri said the London Court had also made it clear that in the absence of evidence, the court could not accept that another sovereign state that has good ties and relationship with UK is corrupt.
The court accepted Hadi’s offer to pay the RM80,000 deposit.
Samsuri said in recognition of the flawed basis of her application, Rewcastle-Brown was ordered to pay Hadi two thirds of his costs of the exercise.
She has to pay £15,000 (RM83,719) to Hadi now, with the quantum of the balance to be assessed by the court in due course.
“The court also ordered Rewcastle-Brown to submit her defence into court within 21 days so Hadi can proceed with this case and she cannot continue to prevaricate,” he said.
A request to appeal this judgment by Rewcastle-Brown’s lawyers was disallowed by the court.
“This is a very positive development for Hadi in his bid to clear his name of the allegations by Rewcastle-Brown and Sarawak Report in their article,” Samsuri said.
“He also would like to extend his gratitude to members of PAS and the members of public who have been supporting him in this very difficult case,” he said.
Hadi was also informed by Carter-Ruck that the Malaysian High Commission in London had sent representatives to attend and to observe the proceedings as many political allegations were made against the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the government of Malaysia and the judiciary in Malaysia by Rewcastle-Brown in documents that she is filing into court. -NST