PETALING JAYA: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the arrest of former PetroSaudi International executive Xavier Andre Justo can help set the record straight on allegations against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
He said distorted information allegedly leaked by Justo to online publications had “tainted 1MDB’s image”, and he hoped Justo would be brought to justice.
“The arrest of Xavier Justo has revealed new information on the 1MDB issue.
“Justo used distorted facts on 1MDB to blackmail it, probably for his own financial gain. News reports revealed that he lived a luxurious lifestyle.
“So, when he is no longer employed by PetroSaudi, he decided to blackmail them.
“Unfortunately, his agenda has dragged the Malaysian Government and 1MDB into this.
“I hope a thorough investigation will be conducted on Justo and that he will be brought to court, so that the information that has been reported by websites like Sarawak Report will be proven false,” said Khairy yesterday.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in Malacca last night that Justo had revealed to Thai investigators the names of several Malaysians who supposedly asked him to manipulate facts from the information that was downloaded from PetroSaudi communication system
He said the identities of the Malaysians would be known if the Thais seek their extradition.
Earlier, he said Malaysia was ready to assist Thai police.
He said initial investigations showed that Justo was responsible for providing incorrect information to Sarawak Report.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said Sarawak Report had in turn become a source of false information in reports by The Edge and other media.
Justo is expected to be deported once Thai police complete their investigations.
Thailand’s The Nation newspaper reported that Justo was still in Crime Suppression Division (CSD) custody pending investigations.
He is said to have tampered with e-mail on 1MDB before leaking them to a website and the government investment arm says it remains confident of a thorough investigation.
Bangkok Post quoted Thai police as saying Justo, 49, was paid the equivalent of 140 million baht (RM15.51mil) to leave the company after he was found to have “behaved against the company’s rules and regulations”.
The former IT executive was also accused of demanding another 90 million baht (RM9.98mil) from the company in exchange for not disclosing confidential information to rival companies.
Justo was arrested at a house in Koh Samui on Monday, allegedly for leaking information to the London-based Sarawak Report website.
Thai police said he has denied the allegations.
Thai police reportedly seized numerous computers, hard drives and other evidence from Justo’s residence and PetroSaudi is mulling over further legal action against him.
PetroSaudi become embroiled in the 1MDB controversy after a joint-venture deal between the two companies, said to have been orchestrated by businessman Low Taek Jho.