Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud’s daughter Jamilah Taib and her husband Sean Murray has failed again in their bid for an injunction against Switzerland-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) over alleged defamation.
On Wednesday, a Swiss Court of Appeal rejected their bid for an injunction to provisionally ban 255 publications linking her, her closest family members and her Canadian real estate companies, Sakto Corporation and Sakto Development Corporation, to alleged money-laundering and to grand corruption in Sarawak.
“We are delighted about this extremely clear and favourable judgment,” said Lukas Straumann, the executive director of BMF, in a statement today.
“Instead of suing an NGO that is telling the truth, the Taib family should finally disclose the origin of its unexplained wealth.”
The statement also said that the court ruled Jamilah had filed her case too late, nine years after her wealth was first publicly connected by the defendants to alleged wrongdoing under Abdul Taib Mahmud’s long tenure as Sarawak chief minister.
“In its 51-page ruling, the court noted that, for nine years, the Malaysian-Canadian entrepreneur had not a single time reacted to the Bruno Manser Fund’s public allegations, even when a protest rally calling for Taib family assets to be frozen was held in front of her private residence in Ottawa’s Rockcliffe Park district,” said BMF.
The Swiss Court of Appeal upheld the ruling by a civil court in February in throwing out the lawsuit and ordered Jamilah, her husband, and Sakto Corporations to pay 166,000 Swiss francs (RM673,960) in costs to BMF.
The Basel-based NGO, named after missing Swiss rainforest advocate Bruno Manser, campaigns for the protection of the Sarawak rainforests and the rights of its indigenous peoples.
BMF had previously claimed that Jamilah and her husband’s real estate group, which was established in 1983, control more than RM1 billion in real estate assets in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Malaysia.
However, an attempt by BMF to sue the companies belonging to the Murrays by means of a private prosecution failed in February 2018 when a Toronto court refused to grant the NGO disclosure of Sakto’s financial records.
There have been calls in Malaysia for the MACC to investigate Taib and his family for alleged grand corruption.