Swiss prosecutors deal blow to Malaysian politician’s daughter

Sarawak Governor’s daughter, Jamilah Taib Murray, faces criminal proceedings for false accusation against Swiss NGO, the Bruno Manser Fonds

(BASEL/OTTAWA/KUCHING) Swiss prosecutors are about to reopen criminal proceedings against Malaysian-Canadian real estate millionaire Jamilah Taib Murray and her real estate group Sakto Corporation for false accusation of the Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF), a Swiss NGO, under article 303 of the Swiss criminal code.

The daughter of Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud, her husband, Sean Murray, and two of their real estate firms had accused BMF of crimes such as fraud, criminal mismanagement, misappropriation, coercion, false accusation, misleading the judicial authorities and defamation.

After examining the facts, public prosecutors of the canton of Basel-Stadt came to the conclusion that none of the accusations were true and decided to stall the case. This opens the way for proceedings against the Taib Murrays and Sakto for false accusation to be reopened. The case was temporarily stalled by the Appeal Court of Basel-Stadt until the allegations against BMF had been examined.

The Taib Murrays’ accusations against BMF were part of a big SLAPP campaign against the Bruno Manser Fonds because the Swiss NGO had linked their Canadian real estate holdings to grand corruption in Sarawak under the former Taib government. SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) have become increasingly popular among rich corporate and private actors in order to muzzle critics.

In spring 2019, two Swiss courts refused to grant an injunction sought by Taib Murray and Sakto to delete 255 BMF publications on the Taib family and their alleged links to grand corruption and alleged money-laundering. A 600-page civil defamation suit by the Taib Murrays against BMF is still pending at the Basel civil court.

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