Sarawak Report’s Rewcastle-Brown skips S’pore fearing arrest
Australian daily reports lawyers warning UK journalist of pressure being applied by Putrajaya on Singapore, in light of 1MDB-linked case in the island republic.
(FMT) – British journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown cancelled her trip to Singapore last week fearing that she will be arrested and eventually extradited to Malaysia.
The founder of the Sarawak Report whistle-blower website had planned to come to the island republic before proceeding to Sydney, to join Global Bersih’s rally in conjunction with the main Bersih 5 rally held in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, The Australian reported today.
However, she had been warned by her lawyers that she risked being arrested in Singapore.
“The case about 1MDB and (Singapore’s) BSI bank has been a major case in Singapore. They have special extradition arrangements with Malaysia, and I was told that Malaysia had been putting enormous pressure to try one way or another to get their hands on me.
“The threat of arrest had become quite real, so the lawyers told me it just wasn’t worth the risk,” Rewcastle-Brown was quoted as saying by the Australian daily.
This latest incident follows her continued reporting via the Sarawak Report on the 1MDB scandal, that has plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak both home and abroad, with his former mentor Dr Mahathir Mohamad being among his fiercest critics.
Malaysian authorities had taken action against her blog, blocking access to the Sarawak Report, and also threatened to arrest her.
In September last year, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said police had issued an arrest warrant for Rewcastle-Brown.
Khalid had later declared that the police would be applying to have her placed on Interpol’s Red Notice list. It was later reported that the application was rejected by Interpol.
The 1MDB scandal has global implications over alleged money-laundering and the use of funds allegedly embezzled from the state-owned investment firm to buy assets worth up to US$1 billion in the United States, among other things.
As such investigations and other legal action have been taken in the US, Switzerland and Singapore, among others.