Back in September 2015, The New Straits Times had claimed to have had access to Justo’s signed confession.
In response to the article by The New Straits Times
(1) Nurul Izzah: She has never even met Xavier Justo.
(2) Tony Pua: He knew no one named Justo until the Swiss national made headlines following his arrest in Thailand.
(3) Clare Rewcastle-Brown: She “sounded out” several quarters to see if they were interested in Justo’s information but no politician paid for it.
(4) The Edge owner Tong Ooi Kong also denied being part of a conspiracy to topple Najib.
27 May 2018
Xavier Justo was jailed in Thailand for allegedly blackmailing PetroSaudi International, but is now not only free but came to Malaysia, met with Dr Mahathir Mohammed, Prime Minister of Malaysia, and spoke to Ho Kay Tat, publisher of The Edge Media Group who then wrote “Hidden hands, spin and the truth”.
You can excerpts of Ho Kay Tat’s article below.
Hidden hands, spin and the truth: Get your 24-page 1MDB special here
(May 28): On the morning of July 24, 2015, The Straits Times (ST) of Singapore splashed on its print and online editions, what was a world scoop — an interview with Swiss citizen Xavier Andre Justo inside a Bangkok jail.
It was headlined “I was offered $2.7m for stolen data: Ex-PetroSaudi employee Xavier Andre Justo on the 1MDB saga”.
The report said that the group to which Justo handed documents related to 1MDB’s transactions with PetroSaudi told him they intended to “modify the documents” and use them to “bring down the Malaysian government” of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The ST story was picked up by the international media. Newspapers and TV stations in Malaysia, where the government had just clamped down on an investigation into 1MDB, happily reproduced the ST report to support Najib’s narrative.
The group that Justo referred to was principally Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown, The Edge Media Group chairman Tong Kooi Ong and me.
Although the ST article named only Rewcastle, anyone who was clued in to what was happening in the days leading up to July 24 would have known The Edge in Malaysia was accused of being involved in a plot to bring down Najib by publishing a series of allegedly fake articles on 1MDB that were based on documents received from Justo.
The part about us not paying him the money that was promised is correct.
But the narrative written in the ST article that we had told Justo of our intentions was the same one that the Najib regime was using at that time against us in Kuala Lumpur — that The Edge falsified documents about 1MDB to bring his government down.
After ST published the July 24 article, I immediately responded by admitting we did not pay Justo, but denied we were involved in any attempt to bring down Najib by publishing fake news about 1MDB; nor did we tell Justo we had such an intention.I said we were only out to get to the bottom of 1MDB’s financial woes and we had found from what Justo had shown us that a scam had taken place.
I had also asked about the “hidden hand” behind the ST story and the interview with Justo. I said it was remarkable that while Malaysian police were not allowed (at the time) to see Justo, ST’s Bangkok-based reporter Nirmal Ghosh had access to him in a high-security prison.
ST’s foreign news editor Audrey Quek issued a statement to deny that any hidden hands were involved. A top Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) executive sent me a WhatsApp message to rebut my allegation and said the story was an example of “enterprising” news-gathering and that Nirmal had worked on it for weeks.
As a former correspondent of SPH, I did not want to prolong the argument with my former colleagues and bosses, although I was confident I was right.
We had our hands full — Tong and I had to give statements to Malaysian police as we were being investigated for being part of an alleged plot to bring down a democratically elected government. Our two titles in KL —The Edge weekly and The Edge Financial Daily — were suspended, although the courts subsequently reversed the suspension.
After Najib’s government was ousted in the May 9 elections, Justo was invited to meet Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. I caught up with Justo and, among other things, he narrated to me the interview with ST and the events leading to it.
He said after he was arrested and charged for blackmail, he was kept in a lockup with 50 others, and everyone was virtually sleeping on top of each other. After a week, he was told he had a choice either to cooperate or expect to languish in jail for many years. He was also told he would be out in less than a year if he agreed to make confessions that were prepared for him.
He also had to give an interview to a reporter from the ST. Justo named the hidden hands as PetroSaudi director Patrick Mahony; and Paul Finnegan, a UK private detective who disguised himself as a Scotland Yard detective.
“They handed to me a list of 50 questions and answers that I was supposed to use for my interview just before I saw him (Nirmal),” Justo says. “Everything I told him was prepared by them (Mahony and Finnegan) and I was also told not to bring up the name Jho Low.”
Why the “hidden hands” decided to use Nirmal and ST for the Justo “confession” to spin a fake narrative is open to speculation.
In April 2016, ST ran three headline stories — “1MDB leak deal: Ex-PetroSaudi exec sues The Edge owner in Singapore court”, “Media tycoon Tong Kooi Ong seeks to strike out Justo’s reply to defence papers” and “KL tycoon fails in bid to strike out reply by ex-PetroSaudi exec”.
We suspected that it was not Justo who initiated it, but that it was the PetroSaudi gang who used him, and this was confirmed to me by Justo.
“I didn’t understand the suit. I was just given documents to sign,” he says. “They told me I had to do it if I wanted an early release.”
We filed our defense….
After a few rounds of case management, the suit was finally thrown out on June 20, 2016. ST, for all its interest in the case, did not report that the court had dismissed the suit.
One month later, on July 20, the US Department of Justice said that it was seizing US$1.0 billion worth of assets acquired with money misappropriated and laundered through US banks by high-level 1MDB officials, including a person identified as Malaysian Official 1.
Ho Kay Tat is publisher of The Edge Media Group
24 June 2016
SET BACK FOR JUSTO
Lawyers for former Petrosaudi employee quit
SINGAPORE: The Singapore lawyers for Xavier Andre Justo (pix), former employee of PetroSaudi International, have dropped themselves from acting any further for him, The Straits Times reported today.
The news report said a court order issued on Monday by assistant registrar N. Ramasamy approved the application by law firm Damodara Hazra to cease acting for both Justo and his firm Justo Consulting in the suit against The Edge media group owner Tong Kooi Ong and two others.
The court order also allowed the lawyers to serve notice on Justo by dispatch to the Bangkok prison where he is held.
The report said that in the court papers filed to seek the discharge from representing Justo any further, lawyer Clement Ong explained that Justo’s principal lawyers from Geneva-based law firm Lalive had told them that they were no longer acting for Justo.
The news report said the withdrawal move without a lawyer replacement could mean the end of the Singapore court suit.
According to a previous news report, which was based on court documents filed last November, Justo claimed that he handed over two data storage drives in Tong’s presence in Singapore last year in return for US$2 million (RM$7.77 million), which he never received.
He wanted the items which contain data about PetroSaudi and its business partner 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), to be returned and for any copy to be destroyed, the report said.
Tong was reported to be contending that Justo had no right to the drives because they were stolen from PetroSaudi.
10 September 2015
Malay Mail Online
IGP says will recall Tony Pua over probe to topple governement
GEORGE TOWN, Sept 9 — The police have opened an investigation paper under the Penal Code on an alleged attempt to topple the Malaysian Government, following a revelation by Xavier Andre Justo, a former executive of Petro Saudi International (PSI).
Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police would recall Petaling Jaya Utara Member of Parliament, Tony Pua to record his statement following his admission, as reported by The New Straits Times (NST) newspaper today.
“But we do not investigate based on the newspaper report, just what he (Pua) had said. We have to recall him and record his statement.
“He (Pua) had admitted that there were some things he did not mention. Since he has now remembered, we will recall him to record a statement,” he told a press conference after a ceremony involving the presentation of the Pingat Jasa Pahlawan Negara today.
– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/police-have-opened-investigation-paper-on-attempt-to-topple-government-says?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed#sthash.OKXzVK8n.dpuf
Justo’s written confession enough for cops to start probe, says Zahid
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a written confession made on his own volition by Xavier Andre Justo, a former executive of PetroSaudi International Ltd, shows there were “detailed efforts” to topple the government.
As such, Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the police can open investigation papers against the individuals named by Justo in his written confession.
“The police received full cooperation from the Thai authorities and will do the necessary including opening investigation papers on the individuals named and later hand them over to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for prosecution,” he said.
Zahid said all the documents which are sources of news published in a newspaper (The New Straits Times) are documents obtained from the Thai authorities with particulars and details listed in Justo’s written confession.
“Although Justo says his intention was only for monetary gain and not anything apart from that, it is clearly visible there have been detailed efforts made by people whose names have been mentioned, to topple the government.
Free Malaysia Today
NST story ‘reverses reality,’ Asian Sentinel says
Clare Rewcastle-Brown alleges the NST has “performed a classic job of selectively editing and distorting quotes in order to try and do a hatchet job on me”.
PETALING JAYA: The Asian Sentinel today branded the New Straits Times’ (NST) front-page story accusing Clare Rewcastle-Brown of “conspiring to change a nation’s destiny” by removing Prime Minister Najib Razak “a startling reversal of reality”.
Alleging that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had “fallen into a river of red ink from what appears to be vast mismanagement and crookedry,” the Sentinel noted that Rewcastle-Brown had published “a long series of damaging reports” alleging that hundreds of millions of dollars had been “spirited out” of 1MDB “to other destinations.”
The Sentinel noted that she had also fed information to The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, allowing both to publish “equally devastating stories” concerning Najib’s alleged family property holdings in the United States and the US$680 million deposited into his personal bank accounts in 2013.
Rewcastle-Brown responded by alleging that the NST had “performed a classic job of selectively editing and distorting quotes in order to try and do a hatchet job on me”.
“The problem is that I am not the person who has committed a crime,” she was quoted as saying.
I never met Justo, says Nurul Izzah denying making any offer for 1MDB data
I never met Justo, says Nurul Izzah denying any offer for 1MDB data http://bit.ly/1hSIcUr
PKR lawmaker Nurul Izzah Anwar has denied offering former PetroSaudi International employee Xavier Andre Justo US$2 million in future contracts in exchange for information on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), saying she had never even met the Swiss national.
“For the record, I categorically deny that I have ever offered US$2 million to Justo in future government contracts when the opposition came into power. I have never met him before,” Nurul Izzah said in a statement today.
She also said the claim by the government-controlled dailies was an attempt to shift the public’s attention away from the real issues involving alleged wrongdoing by 1MDB and Najib, who had RM2.6 billion transferred to his personal accounts, a large portion of which was moved ahead of the last general election in 2013.
“The real question is not about Xavier Justo’s so called stolen documents. It is about what those documents, together with reports by The Wall Street Journal, Sarawak Report and The Edge say about the grand corruption, money laundering, embezzlement and electoral bribery allegations surrounding 1MDB,” she said in the statement.
Me promising Justo contracts? It’s a lie, says Nurul Izzah
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar has denied promising government contracts to Swiss national Xavier Justo in exchange for stolen information on 1MDB.
She described the allegation as a “complete lie”.
Nurul, who is Lembah Pantai MP, said she has instructed her lawyers to commence legal action against New Straits Times and Berita Harian for publishing the allegation.
“For the record, I categorically deny I offered US$2 million (RM8.7 million) to Justo in future government contracts when the opposition comes into power. I have never met him.
“NST and Berita Harian have front-paged this complete lie in a sensational manner, and without any regard as to whether there is any truth in the allegations.
“I have accordingly instructed my solicitors to commence legal proceedings against the NST and Berita Harian,” she added in a statement today.
Umno lodges report against Nurul Izzah on Justo
Lembah Pantai Umno today lodged a police report against its MP, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.
This follows allegations in dailies New Straits Times and Berita Harian that she sought to buy information from former Petrosaudi International Ltd executive, Xavier Justo.
The report was lodged by the division secretary, Sazali Kamilan who, according to Berita Harian, wants an immediate probe, describing the allegations as serious.
“We want police to investigate the Lembah Pantai MP on her attempts to purchase the documents for US$2 million, as Justo had claimed, according to the newspapers,” said the division secretary.
Sazali claimed that Nurul Izzah had portrayed herself as a future leader in order to get the information.
Tony Pua: I wasn’t in on Justo transactions
Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said today he connected Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown with the editors of business publication The Edge, but denies being part of a conspiracy to topple Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The New Straits Times today implicated Pua in the deal between The Edge and former PetroSaudi employee Xavier Justo in connection with leaked information on the Saudi oil firm and state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
“I was not involved in any such transaction,” Pua said when contacted.
NST in its report cited Justo’s alleged written confession, claiming that the deal with The Edge was brokered by Rewcastle-Brown and Pua.
However, Pua said he only introduced The Edge to Rewcastle-Brown and was not privy to anything else.
Asked if he was involved in any conspiracy or had prior knowledge of the information leaked, he said: “Nope and nope.”
He added he only knew the details when it was published in Sarawak Report.
He said NST was using his limited involvement to paint him as a co-conspirator “as NST would”.
‘Nurul Izzah wanted to buy data’
By THE NST TEAM – 8 September 2015 @ 11:02 AM
‘Nurul Izzah wanted to buy data’ http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/%E2%80%98nurul-izzah-wanted-buy-data%E2%80%99 …
#nst170 @n_izzah #nst170
KUALA LUMPUR: DETAILS of investigations into the case of former PetroSaudi employee Xavier Andre Justo, including from his written confession made on his own free will and volition, have revealed that Nurul Izzah Anwar was keen on buying data on 1Malaysia Development Bhd he had stolen in 2011.
The Lembah Pantai member of parliament (MP) was, however, not the choice potential buyer for Justo, who confessed to being consumed by greed. He had wanted US$2 million (RM8.7 million) for the data in cash.
When Nurul Izzah offered to pay him instead with contracts that would come in if the opposition succeeded in taking power from Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration, Justo balked and turned it down, the confession suggested.
Justo claimed that Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown was acting as his broker and that she wathe one who brought Nurul Izzah into the picture. “Around September 2014, Clare contacted me and invited me in (sic) Bangkok. She said the daughter of (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim was interested in buying the data.
“I declined as Nurul wanted to pay US$2 million in future government contracts when they come into power, instead of cash. I declined the offer as I saw no purpose for it.”
He said Rewcastle-Brown, who had told him that he would make a few million from this, then contacted him in February to say that she, together with Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, had arranged the sale of the stolen data to The Edge media group owner, Datuk Tong Kooi Ong, and that a meeting would take place soon.
Pua’s name cropped up several times in Justo’s written confession and transcript of the three-month long WhatsApp conversations involving Rewcastle-Brown, Justo, Tong and Ho Kay Tat, who had allegedly set up the thread.
The transcripts suggested that when Tong and Ho appeared to be stalling the payment of the US$2 million promised to Justo, Rewcastle-Brown told him that she would get Pua to come in.
According to the transcript, on March 19, at 8.12am, Rewcastle-Brown, in a private WhatsApp chat with Justo to discuss the stalled transaction, had told him that “I am seeing Tony Pua this evening. He is a very influential person in their community and was the person who put me in touch. He will give me an insight into what is happening…”
Justo, in his confession, spoke about payment agreements that had been reneged on because Ho and Tong were shifting goalposts.