"Sarawak Report wants to thank everyone so far who has already helped us stand up to the costly legal action launched by PAS President Hadi Awang in the London High Court. Thanks to that support we have stood our ground with a strong defence of our position and our right to report on the situation in Malaysia and scandals such as 1MDB.
We now have a date in court before a judge on 30 April – 2 May 2018. This hearing is set to decide whether the article even referred to Hadi and whether we are entitled to rely on new evidence we have submitted. It will also deal with our complaints about months of harassment and intimidation which we allege was instigated by supporters of PAS. If the hearing goes well it could draw an end to Hadi's claim, with only my counterclaim remaining, before it turns into the multi-million pound libel trial that we believe he is seeking to finance, apparently with the support of fundraising by PAS.
At this hearing Hadi's lawyers will also try to strike out a section of our defence, namely the 'truth defence' that claims the allegations were correct. However, we believe that we have a strong case. On top of this we have also submitted new evidence, including the recording allegedly of Nik Abduh confirming that Hadi has given his blessing to senior PAS officials taking money from the ruling UMNO party.
Standing up to this hugely expensive legal action has been extremely costly to Sarawak Report's Editor, not least because the PAS President has selected a very expensive legal firm in London to represent him. We need £45,000 pounds to ensure that we can finance the three days in court at the end of April. Even if we succeed in our aim to throw out Hadi's claim at that point we will have to meet another £200,000 in eventual costs.
We hope that you can help Sarawak Report, together with our fantastic legal team, to continue to stand firm and ensure that Hadi's case faces scrutiny by a judge, who will at last evaluate the credibility of this action and the conduct of this case, which we have (we believe rightly) deplored.
We have 30 days from now to raise as much as we can via this CrowdJustice appeal to meet that first vital target of £45,000 pounds as soon as possible and, hopefully, as much as we can of our stretch target to cover the eventual wider costs of the legal action.
We very much hope that enough people can move to support our determination not to succumb to heavily funded legal bullying by PAS, who seem determined to use this case to attempt to defend their political position from criticism over their new friendship with UMNO in the run up to the election.
Remember, your details can remain totally anonymous in your support."
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