Parts of Sarawak Report editor’s defence struck off in defamation suit filed by Apandi’s former officer

KUALA LUMPUR (March 23): Twenty paragraphs and subparagraphs in Sarawak Report editor Claire Rewcastle Brown’s defence statement in a defamation suit filed by Mabel Sheela Mutthiah were ordered to be struck off by the High Court on Wednesday (March 23).

Mabel, who served as a special officer to former attorney general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, is suing Brown over articles linking her to alleged text messages sent to the family of deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais, who was murdered gruesomely seven years ago.

Mabel’s lawyer Datuk David Gurupatham, when contacted by The Edge, said the order made by Justice Datuk Azimah Omar follows the judge’s decision in February last year to allow Mabel’s discovery application for Brown to produce documents she had cited in her defence.

“She (Brown) failed to abide by them, and hence those paragraphs were ordered to be struck off. In addition, Brown was ordered to pay RM8,000 costs,” said Gurupatham, who appeared with Venothoni Rajagopal.

Brown was represented by counsel Liew Teck Huat and Angeline Tan.

Justice Azimah fixed May 17 for further case management, while hearing of the case was set for Aug 14 to 18, 2023.

Mabel, who is now a Sessions Court judge, filed the suit against Brown in 2019 over an article in Sarawak Report titled “How AG’s Office connived to prevent a second post-mortem on Kevin Morais” that purportedly linked her to Morais’ death. Mable denied the alleged claim in the article.

Mabel is seeking damages as well as a court order for the article to be removed from the Sarawak Report website.

Morais’ body was found in a steel drum in 2015, and five people including a doctor were convicted with the murder.S Kanagaraju

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