Malaysia receives positive response from Thailand on obtaining evidence from Justo

Malaysia receives positive response from Thailand on obtaining evidence from Justo
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(Aug 18): The Malaysian Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has received positive response from its Thai counterpart to obtain evidence from former PetroSaudi International (PSI) employee Xavier Andre Justo, who was sentenced to three years in jail for blackmail.

A statement by AGC said the evidence would be obtained under the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters among the Asean member countries.

Malaysia and Thailand are members of the Asean grouping.

"In light of the conviction of Mr Xavier Andre Justo, the AGC has also received a positive response from its counterpart in Thailand and is in the process of obtaining further evidence under the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters among the Asean member countries," the statement said.

Swiss national Justo was yesterday convicted in a Bangkok criminal court for blackmailing his former employer with information on debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The Bangkok South Criminal Court ordered Justo's jail term to start from June 22.

Justo, 49, confessed to taking information about 1MDB from PSI, an energy company.

Both were joint venture partners in a deal in 2009, in which Malaysia was allegedly cheated of US$1.83 billion.

He then tried to sell the data to a group of people whom he claimed intended to use it to topple Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

While in custody, Justo also admitted to handing the stolen documents to a "prominent Malaysian businessman" who turned out to be The Edge Media Group owner Datuk Tong Kooi Ong, as well as Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

Justo said a deal on the sale of the stolen data was reached in Singapore in February, and named those involved in his 22-page confession to the Thai police.

Both The Edge and Sarawak Report have carried exposes on 1MDB, and have been censured by the Malaysian government.

The Home Ministry has suspended two newspapers under The Edge group for three months since July 27, and blocked local access to Sarawak Report.

The AGC's statement also said it has been brought to its attention that police reports have been made against persons, both within and outside Malaysia for alleged activities that were detrimental to parliamentary democracy.

A arrest warrant has been issued in Malaysia against Rewcastle-Brown on August 5 in relation to the ongoing investigation by the police under Section 124B of the Penal Code.

This is in relation to allegations that the Sarawak Report website administered by Rewcastle-Brown had on July 30 published a false report and draft sheet in the article entitled “Arrest Warrant for the Prime Minister – The Real Reason The Attorney-General Was Fired” in order to implicate Najib with criminal offences.

"The AGC assures the public that all investigation papers submitted by the Malaysian police will be studied thoroughly as such allegations will affect the stability of the country," said AGC. – The Malaysian Insider