KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown has named former Bar Council president Datuk S. Ambiga as the source who had alleged that senior Pas leaders received money from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
In an article carried by online news portal The Malaysian Insight, it claimed that through a copy of her Defence and Counterclaim supplied to it, Rewcastle-Brown claimed to have spoken to Ambiga in July last year about Najib, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), and Pas.
“Ambiga had told the defendant that her sources, whom she said were reliable, had estimated the amount that had been paid was around RM90 million,” the article cited Rewcastle-Brown as saying in her Oct 11 court filing.
Her defence was filed against a defamation suit by Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang against her. The suit was filed in April.
Hadi had alleged that he was defamed in a Sarawak Report article titled “As Najib denies all over 1MDB let’s not forget his many other criminal connections”, which was published on Aug 6, last year.
The article implied that money was given in return for Pas’ support for Barisan Nasional (BN).
She claimed to have, in good faith, published parts of her conversation with Ambiga as political commentary on an issue of public interest.
The court filing also alleged that, since 2014, Najib had transferred more than RM200 million to former Pas deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa to fund a specific Pas faction.
The article claimed that she had said: “The secret funding continued through 2015 and thereafter, including for the general assembly of June 2015.”
It claimed that she had alleging that the funding was for events such as the first fastaqim in October 2015, and other events until the International Conference on Muslim Unity was held this July.
According to the article, her defence also named several Pas leaders who had allegedly purchased cars, property or taken new wives, and she had purportedly supplied a long list of luxury vehicles bought by them.
It said that her counterclaim alleged that the claimant had provided or assisted two blogs, including Malaysia Today, which is run by Raja Petra Kamarudin, for them to run articles harassing her.
“The harassment has caused the defendant (Rewcastle-Brown) severe stress, anxiety and distress, for which she claims damages,” the article cited the court document as saying.
She also applied for an injunction to stop Hadi from further harassing her.
Attempts by the New Straits Times to get comments via phone calls and message on Whatsapp from Ambiga went unanswered.