How can the editor of a fake news portal, Clare Brown, be allowed to attend Najib’s proceedings?

Yesterday, as Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak made his third appearance at the Mahkhamah Tinggi Jenayah 3 (MTJ3) in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur, Clare Rewcastle Brown was seen loitering around the grounds of the court complex together with Dato’ Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, a man widely associated with her.

The court was rendered accessible only to authorised media personnel, members of Najib’s immediate family and those involved with litigation matters.

Even members of public who came in show of support for Najib were not allowed on the court grounds, let alone the courtroom or the lobby of the complex.

Clare, on the other hand, was granted direct access to the High Court chamber itself after recess and was seen sitting alongside media personnel who were there to cover the session.

THE THIRD FORCE

There seems to be a new twist to the entire Najib-may-have-laundered-money-from-SRC saga.

Yesterday, as former premier Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak made his third appearance at the Mahkhamah Tinggi Jenayah 3 (MTJ3) in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur, Clare Rewcastle Brown was seen loitering around the grounds of the court complex together with Dato’ Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, a man widely associated with her. The duo became an ‘item’ ever since the United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) first hit the internet with Civil Forfeiture claims against a movie production company linked to Najib’s stepson, Riza Aziz. Clare’s presence at the court complex set many a tongue wagging as reporters scrambled for answers to the million dollar question – what the heck was she doing there?

Off limits to public, the court was in session to finalise the schedule of proceedings in relation to money laundering charges brought against Najib. Yesterday’s event saw the former premier’s lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, make submissions seeking a gag order on media and case documents pursuant to Section 51(A) of the Criminal Procedure Code. The court was rendered accessible only to authorised media personnel, members of Najib’s immediate family and those involved with litigation matters. There is no way in the world Clare could have been allowed access to the court complex unless someone gave specific instructions to the police to let her in.

As a matter of fact, members of public who came in show of support for Najib were not even allowed on the court grounds, let alone the courtroom or the lobby of the complex. Clare, on the other hand, was allowed direct access to the MTJ3 chamber itself after recess and was even seen sitting alongside media personnel who were there to cover the session. That would have been ok had she attended as an observer representing a credible media organisation from abroad. But the site that she runs, Sarawak Report, isn’t even a news portal and is widely associated with speculative journalism and fake news.

When met by reporters outside the courtroom, Clare expressed shock that her articles were mentioned by Shafee as the latter applied for a media gag order. Shafee was merely seeking to protect his client on grounds that portals such as Sarawak Report had the potential of subverting the trial with fake news. Clare became defensive and told reporters that her articles were “based on fact and were never substantially disproved.” I found that a tad too strange, considering that this is the very lady who, in 2017, dragged The Third Force and Malaysia Today into submissions her own lawyers made at a London High Court to derail a case that is currently ongoing.

The Third Force was mentioned a total of thirteen times in a Defence and Counterclaim Clare’s lawyers filed at the London Court

The Defence and Counterclaim related to a defamation suit Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi Awang brought against her over a claim she made via Sarawak Report. On 6th of August 2016, Clare alleged that Najib solicited political favours from Hadi by offering him a RM90 million bribe. Despite repeated attempts by the London Court to seek evidence from her, she failed to offer a shred of it even after spending years insisting that the articles she published via Sarawak Report were “smoking guns.”

And here we have her telling reporters that her articles were “based on fact and were never substantially disproved.” The London Court has since ordered her to pay Hadi £28,900 (S$52,755) in costs, effectively collapsing her case against the PAS president and ultimately, Najib. It is only a matter of time before the court rules in Hadi’s favour and proves once and for all that she’s a natural born liar. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Clare is a con artist who’s in the business of regime changes through the publication of fake news and media propaganda.

And to think that the police allowed her access to the MTJ3 chamber when even Najib’s own supporters were forced to wait in the car park adjacent to the court complex under the scorching sun…

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