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Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Justogate is going to remain a word in Malaysian political history just as Watergate is in American political history. But in the Watergate affair 69 people were charged, 48 were found guilty, and many people were sent to jail. Will the same thing happen in the Justogate affair?
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Watergate, an event that is considered a major political scandal in US history, is about the 17th June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration’s attempted cover-up of its involvement.
The word ‘Watergate’, however, is now synonymous with any clandestine and often illegal activity. Hence the Iran-Contra scandal became known as Irangate, and so on. And now Malaysia has its own version of the Watergate scandal that is going to go down in history dubbed as Justogate. And both involve data stealing.
It all started with Sarawak Report playing the role of Wikileaks (will Sarawak Report now go down in history dubbed as Sarawakleaks?) by exposing a series of e-mails exposing 1MDB in what is alleged as illegal activities. Sarawak Report, which calls itself a whistleblower website, stunned the world with this expose based on what it claims are three million e-mails that it has in its possession.
In the euphoria of this expose no one stopped to ask how Sarawak Report came to be in possession of these e-mails that is said to run into millions. But that is a question that needs not be asked because what is important is that Sarawak Report is a whistleblower operation and it is the job of whistleblowers to obtain information to leak.
Then it was revealed that the three million e-mails were, in fact, illegally obtained. But that, too, is not an issue because, of course, whistleblowers need to obtain information illegally. If not how else would one obtain incriminating and damaging evidence?
Then it was revealed that the person who stole those e-mails and handed them to Sarawak Report was a Swiss national named Xavier Andre Justo. And it seems he initially stole them so that he could use them to blackmail PetroSaudi International for an amount that has so far not been revealed.
What has been revealed, though, is that Justo did receive RM15 million from PetroSaudi. The story to that RM15 million is that this was for his termination of services, a sort of golden handshake, which even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad felt was a bit too high if it was just for his termination of services and hence must have been hush money.
I mean, even Faekah Husin received just RM1 million for her termination and Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali feels that it is too much and double what she should probably have received — and now they have demanded that she return the money or else they are going to court to sue for the return of the money.
Anyway, the story now is that Justo had tried to blackmail PetroSaudi with these three million e-mails as leverage. Was that RM15 million they paid him, therefore, the blackmail money? If so then is he not satisfied with just RM15 million and is demanding more? Or was the RM15 million the amount that was agreed but after PetroSaudi paid the RM15 million Justo decided to not destroy or return those e-mails and instead sell them a second time?
If what PetroSaudi paid Justo the amount that was agreed but after receiving the RM15 million Justo reneged on the deal and refused to destroy or return the e-mails but instead sold them to a second party, does this mean someone else then paid Justo a second amount of money?
Justo is alleged to have blackmailed PetroSaudi using the three million e-mails as the leverage. PetroSaudi paid Justo RM15 million allegedly for the termination of his services, which some people say is too much if just for termination of services. We can only assume, therefore, that the RM15 million was not for termination of services but for blackmail.
But then the story does not end there. If the RM15 million was for hush money then how come there is no hush-up but the e-mails ended up in someone else’s hands, in this case Sarawak Report.
We can only assume that after receiving the RM15 million from PetroSaudi, Justo decided to go for a second bite of the apple and sell those same e-mails a second time. But what is not known yet is did Justo sell those e-mails to Sarawak Report, probably for yet another few million Ringgit, or did he sell them to Dr Mahathir Mohamad who then handed them to Sarawak Report for publishing. And was Sufi Yusof involved and what was his role in all this?
It is no secret that Clare Rewcastle Brown met up with Dr Mahathir. In fact, Clare’s husband did have previous dealings with Dr Mahathir as what Malaysiakini published earlier this month:
Citizens for Accountable Governance Malaysia (CAGM) welcomes the denial by Clare Rewcastle-Brown that her husband Andrew Brown was acquainted with Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Her denial is nothing more than a lie to deceive the public and protect her husband. EDF Energy UK is wholly-owned by EDF of France. The chairperson of EDF Energy UK is Jean Bernard-Levy, who is also the chairperson of the parent company √Člectricit√© de France (EDF).
It is a well-known fact in United Kingdom that Andrew Brown was working with EDF’s board of directors to bring EDF operations into the UK when his elder brother Gordon Brown was prime minister (Statement by Md Zainal Abidin, chairperson of Citizens for Accountable Governance Malaysia).
It is, therefore, highly probable that Justo did not deal directly with Sarawak Report but did so through Dr Mahathir. Yesterday, Dr Mahathir said so what if Sarawak Report published doctored e-mails? Even if the e-mails were doctored this still does not discount the fact that 1MDB has lost RM42 billion or a big portion of that RM42 billion.
That may be true and it would be very difficult to dispute that argument. Nevertheless, even if 1MDB did lose RM42 billion or part of that RM42 billion, it still does not discount the fact that the e-mails being used to expose 1MDB were stolen and there is also a possibility that they were doctored as well.
So, while 1MDB or the people behind 1MDB need to answer for their yet to be proven crimes, those behind Justogate need to also answer for their crimes as well and it appears like there are no denials to these crimes because everyone involved have confessed to them and have only denied the doctoring allegations.
And no one denies that the original intention of those e-mails was to blackmail PetroSaudi or that PetroSaudi did pay Justo RM15 million.
The Edge has announced that they are no longer going to use those stolen e-mails although they do deny that they are a party to any forgery or fabrication. Tong Kooi Ong, the owner of The Edge, is now in a bind because this is the second time he has backed the wrong horse.
Tong first suffered the wrath of the government 17 years ago back in 1998 when he backed Anwar Ibrahim in his bid to topple Dr Mahathir. Stories of not only how he financed Anwar but how he also employed Azmin’s wife as a secretary with a salary equal to that of an executive director were hot at that time.
Tun Daim Zainuddin then went for Tong and practically destroyed him but one of Dr Mahathir’s sons, Mirzan, saved him. Just when everyone thought that Tong was dead meat, Mirzan gave him a new lease in life.
Hence Tong is indebted to Mirzan. If not because of Mirzan, Tong would have been finished long ago. It is no wonder, therefore, that Tong is now repaying his dues by using The Edge to help Dr Mahathir bring down Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
In 1998, Tong worked with Anwar to try to bring down Dr Mahathir. Now Tong is working with Dr Mahathir to try to bring down Najib. In 1998, Tong backed the wrong horse and suffered. Is Tong backing the wrong horse yet again?
I suppose time will tell.
There is a chance that 1MDB may be implicated in a crime and that Najib would be linked to that scandal. That, of course, is yet to be seen. Meanwhile, Justogate has already been proven through admissions and confessions save for the crime of document doctoring.
The question now, of course, is who is the hunter and who is the hunted because it is not quite clear as to whose knife is at whose throat? What is clear, though, is that Justogate is going to remain a word in Malaysian political history just as Watergate is in American political history. But in the Watergate affair 69 people were charged, 48 were found guilty, and many people were sent to jail. Will the same thing happen in the Justogate affair?

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