The Third Force is not a news portal, but is just a “habitually libellous propaganda blog” that shouldn’t have been cited by any newspaper, says Clare Rewcastle-Brown.
The Sarawak Report editor was responding to a report by the blog, which claimed she had failed to furnish evidence over her allegation that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had received RM90 million from Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“I will not reply in detail at this point, as my lawyers are handling this matter,” Rewcastle-Brown said in an e-mail to FMT today.
“However, this story represents malicious and highly inaccurate spinning by an anonymous and habitually libellous propaganda blog, which the New Straits Times (NST) ought never to be republishing as if it were in any way to be considered an accurate or reliable source of information.”
The Third Force, whose report was published by the NST earlier, had also claimed that Rewcastle-Brown’s failure to meet the deadline provided for her to substantiate her allegations in the London High Court, meant that she would have to return to court in October.
The blog said this was merely her ploy to tarnish Najib’s name, and drag the trial past the upcoming general election.
Rewcastle-Brown on the other hand said there were “very real concerns about the deliberate distortion of information” related to the standard management of the case.
She alleged that it was meant to serve certain quarters’ political propaganda, “with the clear purpose of giving false impressions, even before the response to Hadi’s claims have been laid before the court”.
Hadi had filed a defamation suit against Rewcastle-Brown in April this year, in relation to an article she wrote in August last year.
It has been reported that Sarawak Report ran an article in which it claimed RM90 million was “reckoned” to have entered the accounts of top PAS leaders to woo them into supporting Umno and Barisan Nasional.
Meanwhile, Rewcastle-Brown also slammed NST for reproducing The Third Force’s report which alleged she had received “millions” of ringgit from former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in the latter’s effort to topple Najib.
“This is an extremely serious, libellous and wholly untrue accusation of the sort that I have become used to from various anonymous and unattributed fringe blogs, but rarely from an authored article in a mainstream newspaper.
“Frankly I am shocked,” she said.-FMT