Taib lawyers bully the BBC over Money Logging interview

Taib's lawyers, London-based Mishcon de Reya, are trying to stop a BBC interview on Lukas Straumann's book Money Logging from being broadcast

Mishcon de Reya, a London lawfirm acting on behalf of Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud, are trying to stop a BBC interview on Lukas Straumann's book Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia (www.money-logging.org) from being broadcast.

During an interview with the BBC's World Service this afternoon, Lukas Straumann was shown a "strictly private and confidential" letter by Mishcon de Reya to the BBC, in which Taib's lawyers asked the BBC not to cover the book on Taib's environmental crimes in their broadcasts. Mishcon's claim was not backed by evidence on why the interview with Straumann should not be broadcast apart from that Money Logging allegedly was "full of errors".

In a separate development, Mishcon de Reya did not to reply to a letter by Straumann in which he had asked for an explanation for Taib Mahmud's extreme wealth. Last week, Straumann challenged Taib to explain the source of Taib's extreme wealth and set a 13 January deadline for his lawyers to reply. He also invited Taib to make a public statement on the sources of his wealth on the occasion of the 16 January London book launch.

In November 2014, Taib's lawyers had failed in an attempt to stop Money Logging from being published. Despite legal threats, Swiss publisher Bergli Books and Amazon decided to publish and distribute the book on a world wide level. Money Logging has since been reviewed by National Geographic, The Huffington Post, The Ecologist, Malaysiakini and a number of other media.

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