Malaysiakini News

ABC defends arrested reporters who quizzed PM, says story out soon

Published:  |  Modified:

Australia-based ABC has defended two members of its news team who were arrested by Malaysian authorities after trying to get comments from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over the RM2.6 billion scandal.

ABC on its website added that the duo will continue working on the corruption scandal story which is expected to be ready in a few weeks time.

"They did nothing wrong in Kuching. They were doing journalism. This incident has demonstrated again why it is vital to defend media freedom, including the right to question authority.

"Linton and Louie are continuing their work, investigating the story they are working on for 'Four Corners'. We look forward to seeing their full report in coming weeks, ABC news director Gaben Morris was quoted as saying.

Journalist Linton Besser and cameraman Louie Eroglu of ABC's 'Four Corners' programme were arrested by Malaysian authorities last Saturday after trying to question Najib over billions of ringgit deposited into his personal bank account.

They were surrounded by Najib's security team but allowed to leave, only to be arrested later.

The Malaysian authorities accused them of crossing a security line to "aggressively" question Najib and failing to follow police orders.

Both men have denied the accusations.

The duo were initially slated to be charged for obstructing the duties of a public servant today, which carries a jail term of up to two years, but were later deported instead.

According to ABC, Morris expressed relief that the duo were on the way back to Australia via Singapore.

"It was a roller-coaster night, with the Malaysian police first informing Louie and Linton they would be charged this morning, then a few hours later reversing that and telling them they would be allowed to leave the country," he said.

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