ABC’s Four Corners crew members, reporter Linton Besser and cameraman Louie Eroglu who were detained in Malaysia for supposedly crossing a line and questioning Prime Minister Najib Razak on a corruption scandal, have left Malaysia.
The journalists were told that they won’t be facing any charges in the nation’s court just after few hours of asking them to face the court. The Malaysian police did not deport them but escorted them to the airport. The detention of the two media professionals has brought into question the freedom that the press is said to have. The ABC crew members were told earlier they would be facing serious allegations and if they were found guilty and would have to face two years of imprisonment. However, charges were not imposed on them and they were allowed to leave Malaysia.
According to BBC, the journalists reached Singapore on Tuesday. The pair’s lawyer, Albert Tang, was called by Malaysia’s Padawan District superintendent of police Ng Ahlek who told the former to bring his clients to court at 8:30 a.m. to face charges as decided by the Attorney-General.
ABC South East Asia correspondent Adam Harvey reported that the pair was at the hotel when they were told they would not face any charges. Harvey said the reason behind the change of the decision was still unknown. “The lawyer was called in the middle of the night and told it’s all off. You don’t have to go to the court,” the correspondent said. “What you’ll need to do is bring the ABC team to a police station here where we’ll do some paperwork and hopefully a few hours after that they’ll be able to leave Malaysia, which was just not looking like happening anytime soon just a few hours ago.”
Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that the nation’s High Commissioner in Malaysia is in continuous contact with the journalists to be aware of their whereabouts.