PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan has clarified that neither the party nor its president Abdul Hadi Awang had paid any costs to settle the defamation suit against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown.
According to Takiyuddin, the consent order from the London High Court stipulates that both Hadi and Rewcastle-Brown would withdraw their respective claims and counterclaims, and that no orders would be made as to costs.
As for PAS itself, he pointed out it is not even a party to the suit.
“In other words, the claimant Hadi does not make any payment of costs to the defendant to settle the case out of court.
“It should also be clarified that PAS does not make any payment for any part of this case, because PAS was not a party to the suit.
“PAS considers the PKR president's statement a desperate move to divert the people’s attention from a crisis of confidence amongst Pakatan Harapan parties towards their chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also the prime minister,” he said in a statement today.
Takiyuddin was referring to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim earlier questioning if PAS had paid Rewcastle-Brown to settle the dispute.
“I want to ask for clarification whether PAS made any payment to Rewcastle-Brown. Is it true they paid more than a million?” he asked in relation to MACC declaring that no funds from 1MDB were found in PAS' official bank account.
Hadi had sued Rewcastle-Brown over a 2016 Sarawak Report article claiming that then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak had channelled RM90 million to top PAS leaders in a bid for support ahead of the 14th general election.
However, both parties settled the suit out of court on Feb 1.
PAS has repeatedly denied receiving money from 1MDB, and insisted that Hadi’s withdrawal of the suit is not tantamount to an admission of guilt.