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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

INTERNATIONAL PROBE PUTS NAJIB UNDER SCRUTINY: Tardy IGP - UK cops already in Thailand to interview Jusco

INT'L PROBE PUTS NAJIB UNDER SCRUTINY: Tardy IGP - UK cops already in Thailand to interview Jusco
KUALA LUMPUR ― Thai police are willing to accommodate requests from their foreign counterparts to question former PetroSaudi International (PSI) director Xavier Justo, who is currently under arrest for alleged blackmail and extortion.
According to Bangkok-based paper The Nation, Pol Colonel Akaradeej Pimonsri, who is the acting commander of Thailand's Crime Suppression Police, said British police have already sent their officers to interview Justo who is currently held at the Bangkok Remand Prison.
“We welcome requests from other countries if they want to talk to the suspect,” Akaradej was quoted saying in English daily's report today.
Yesterday, Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar expressed the Royal Malaysian Police's (PDRM) interest in questioning Justo who is believed to be the source of leaked emails on the firm's aborted deal with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
According to Khalid, his men have already put in a request to interview Justo and are also scheduled to meet with Thai police here this Thursday.
“We are in close communication with our Thai counterparts but we have to wait for them to finish their investigation first.
“But we have put a request to meet with Justo with the Thai police before any action is taken against him,” Khalid told reporters at the Bukit Aman federal headquarters here.
It remains unclear, however, if local police have commenced their own investigation on the matter, which was what Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said last week.
When asked to explain, Khalid said that PDRM was still waiting for its Thai counterparts to complete their probe.
“Lets just wait for them to finish their investigation,” the IGP said.
Justo's arrest in Koh Samui, Thailand, last Monday was front-paged in New Straits Times along with a report quoting cybersecurity experts claiming that the former PSI director had likely doctored documents on the firm's deal with 1MDB before they were leaked to Sarawak Report.
The documents were purportedly used by the whistleblower site in one of its many exposes that many government critics including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have relied on to question 1MDB's allegedly opaque deals.
In the English daily's report, an anonymous spokesman from Protection Group International (PGI) was quoted saying that documents recovered from Justo, who is under investigation in Thailand for alleged blackmail and extortion, were “incomplete, and underwent an editing process after they were removed from PetroSaudi’s systems”.
The spokesman also identified Sarawak Report, which is operated by Clare Rewcastle-Brown, as a recipient of the documents that  were “creatively selected and edited to fit a desired narrative”.
Malay Mail Online made two attempts last week to obtain a formal confirmation from PGI on the reported findings but both requests were rejected due to “client confidentiality”.
It is not known who commissioned PGI to investigate the authenticity of the documents and how the firm arrived at the conclusion that they were tampered with.
Justo's arrest and the reported findings by PGI on the authenticity of the leaked documents have led Malaysian authorities to conclude that allegations against the troubled state-owned 1MDB were false.
In one claim, it was alleged that hundreds of millions were siphoned out from the 1MDB-PSI deal, while another purported that the funds were used to help a Malaysian tycoon purchase a local bank.
Critics of the debt-laden 1MDB, however, have questioned the veracity of claims that the 1MDB-PSI documents were doctored, noting that even PGI has yet to confirm them.
1MDB is currently under probe for alleged impropriety in a number of its deals. - Malay Mail

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