Published on the blog Sarawak Report on the 7th of March 2017, a long article from Mrs Clare Rewcastle Brown, editor of the Sarawak Report, link the OCO and M. Nicolas Giannakopoulos to the suspicion of having engaged both in some operation with the Prime Minister of Malaysia together with the movie company called SaltLick.
The article do not provide any evidence of such heavy and absurd accusation. As only element, the article raises doubts about a private seminar organized in October 2016 on the topic of the “Governance and Corruption in Malaysia” by the OCO with the help of the University Observatory on Security at the University of Geneva. The article questions the attendance, the financing and the results of such a seminar. These allegations are without any merit and let a dubious light upon its own motivations.
In front of such accusations, the President of OCO, M. Nicolas Giannakopoulos have repeadetly explained the reason of the attendance, informed all participants in due time and have been very clear about who financed the event.
The author have tricked M. Nicolas Giannakopoulos in London and published elements which she agreed not to publish because considered as confidential.
Not only the article from Sarawak report will be answered point by point by OCO’s lawyers (see our website www.o-c-o.net) but the OCO states now that the result of this delirious publication is that all the actors that were working seriously on the case are now harmed and under suspicion. Unfortunately, despite its dubious journalistic methods, Mrs Clare Rewcastle and its blog, the Sarawak Report, has a great impact on Malaysian civil society and actors and we can only regret that it is creating more confusion for nothing than solving any problem.
More disturbing for the OCO is that the initiative and accusation of the Sarawak Report happens at the exact time where some actors of the Malaysian civil society are organizing to claim back the confiscated funds for specific projects in education, health and environmental projects that still remains unclaimed.
In order to avoid any confusion and to clear the mess created by the Sarawak Report, we urge the editor to publish its sources of funding and bring clear evidence of any wrongdoings from the OCO, Nicolas Giannakopoulos or even SaltLick Films or publicly apologize in order to have a chance to pace the situation and to continue our work for transparency, justice and democracy for the Malaysian people.