BANGKOK – The Inspector General of the Malaysian Police is expected to hold talks with the Royal Thai police on the fate of a Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo, accused by the Malaysian government of leaking information to discredit Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Xavier Andre Justo was arrested in Koh Samui last Monday (Jun 22) for allegedly attempting to blackmail his former employer, Saudi-based energy company PetroSaudi International.
But Malaysia’s Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said Mr Justo might also have sent falsified documents to news portal Sarawak Report about PetroSaudi’s dealings with debt-ridden state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
He said the documents and emails were allegedly edited to provide misleading information about 1MDB, resulting in a series of damning articles by Sarawak Report about 1MDB, advised by Prime Minister Najib.
Malaysia’s Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the deputy police chief of Thailand will be in Malaysia on Thursday, Jul 2. “We will hold discussions on the next course of action to be taken against Justo,” he said.
Sarawak Report, run by the sister of former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown – Clare Rewcastle Brown – stands by its reports and has questioned the allegations. Ms Brown has written an open letter to the Swiss Foreign Ministry, calling for a full investigation, citing fears of Mr Justo’s arrest being “suspicious” and “malicious”.
Some from within Mr Najib’s party UMNO have also raised questions about Mr Justo’s arrest – including former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. “The circumstances appear suspicious. It seems planned. Many clever people are involved,” he was reported as saying by local news portal, The Malaysian Insider.
Meanwhile, police said they have ruled out elements of “criminal breach of trust” in an Australian property scandal involving Malaysian agency MARA. Australian newspaper The Age had alleged that one of MARA’s subsidiaries paid an over-inflated price for a property in Melbourne, with A$4.5 million (US$3.45 million) being pocketed in kickbacks by prominent Malaysians.
The police said they are leaving investigations to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for now, with MARA also conducting an internal probe.