A PKR lawmaker has said Home Minister Zahid Hamidi's threat yesterday to extradite Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown over articles attacking 1MDB has no legal basis.
“Zahid's claim that Rewcastle-Brown can be extradited is inconsistent with both UK and Malaysian law, and is simply laughable.
“Does Zahid seriously expect the British government to allow the extradition of one its citizens to Malaysia merely for having exposed a multi-billion dollar financial scandal?” asked PKR Padang Serai MP N Surendran in a statement today.
“Zahid was not even able to identify the offence which Rewcastle-Brown is alleged to have committed under our laws.
“He only says that Rewcastle-Brown 'interfered with Malaysia's affairs' and that her expose had 'ill-intentions'.
“These are not criminal offences either in Malaysia or the UK,” said the human rights lawyer.
Last night Zahid said Malaysia would seek cooperation from the UK should they find “criminal elements” in their probe into Rewncastle-Brown, whose website Sarawak Report has published a series of damaging articles alleging corruption related to the Finance Ministry owned 1MDB.
The investment firm is Prime Minister Najib Razak’s pet project, and the PM cum finance minister also chairs its advisory committee.
'Wild threats' bad rap
Surendran said UK's Extradition Act 2003 requires the person to be extradited to have committed an act which also constitutes an offence under UK laws.
“A prima facie case of such an offence would also have to be proven to enable the UK district judge to make an extradition order,” he said, arguing Rewcastle-Brown has not contravened any UK law.
“This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to run down and criminalise Sarawak Report and Rewcastle-Brown for having exposed the 1MDB scandal and for implicating Najib,” said Surendran.
“Instead of answering the allegations made by Sarawak Report, which are backed up by documents, they are trying to sidetrack the issue by focusing on imaginary crimes committed by Sarawak Report and Clare,” he said.
The MP said the home minister’s “wild and legally untenable threats” against Rewcastle-Brown, who is the sister-in-law of UK’s former prime minister Gordon Brown, only served to “further damage our country's reputation internationally”.