SARAWAK Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown last night revealed in a talkshow hosted by activist Iswardy Morni, that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang was charged £2.5 million (RM13.3 million) by a British legal firm in his botched pursuit of a libel suit against the portal in 2019.
This was on top of the RM1.4 million in an out-of-court settlement of Rewcastle-Brown’s legal costs, as the Marang member of parliament withdrew his libel suit over the portal’s reports that uncovered alleged sums paid by UMNO to the then opposition party PAS prior to the 2018 general elections.
As per the video excerpt above, Rewcastle-Brown explained that contrary to Hadi’s claims that PAS had won the case against her, the case never arrived in court.
“They ran away even before it even reached court. So, if they say they won the case, well, we leave that to the common sense of people,” she said.
The 2018 expose by Sarawak Report alleged payments to the tune of millions which funded PAS’ elections deposits for their 160 parliamentary candidates and in 196 constituencies contested by the party in the 2018 general elections.
Rewcastle-Brown reiterated that she held documentary evidence of the related transactions which showed funds moved from UMNO to PAS’ political accounts.
PAS had until after the 2018 general elections been an opposition party, while UMNO led the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. The Islamic party had maintained in public statements that it remained an opposition party standing against UMNO.
Documentary evidence, according to Rewcastle-Brown, proved that the two parties were working together, with Hadi alleged to have been promised the Deputy Prime Minister’s post had the Barisan Nasional coalition won.
Hadi and PAS had disputed Rewcastle-Brown’s claims, although local outlets alleged that the sum that moved to very much soften PAS’ opposition towards UMNO was some RM90 million.
Eventually, the PAS and UMNO pact materialised into a loose coalition called the Muafakat Nasional, formed last year.
Watch the video above.