Why is ‘tampered’ 1MDB emails claim only an issue in Malaysia, Kit Siang asks

Lim Kit Siang

(Malay Mail Online) – Lim Kit Siang raised questions today over the veracity of claims that former PetroSaudi International (PSI) director Xavier Justo had doctored the documents on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) that he purportedly leaked, noting that the allegation has only stirred interest among Malaysian officials and nowhere else.

The DAP lawmaker pointed out that the Thai police officials who arrested Justo last week in Koh Samui are only investigating the Swiss national for extortion and blackmail, and not for falsifying the documents he allegedly stole and leaked to whistleblower site Sarawak Report.

“Why did the issue of ‘tampered emails’ burst into the public domain and only after the arrest of Justo, but only in Malaysia but not elsewhere in the world  and not even in Thailand where Justo was arrested for blackmail?” Lim asked in a statement here.

The Gelang Patah MP also pointed out that a police report lodged in the United Kingdom at the London police’s National Fraud and Cyber Crime Report Centre by PSI on March 1 had not been about tampered emails but about confidential emails and servers having been hacked into and their contents made public.

Justo’s arrest in Thailand last week was front-paged in New Straits Times along with a report quoting cybersecurity experts claiming that the former PetroSaudi International (PSI) director had likely doctored documents on the firm’s aborted 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, 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.

Noting that PGI has yet to confirm claims in NST’s report that were attributed to the firm, Lim asked today why Malaysian officials, including Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, have shown such interest in the matter.

Zahid, he pointed out, even recently volunteered to extradite to Thailand several Malaysians allegedly implicated by Justo for having asked him to manipulate the leaked information.

IGP Khalid, on the other hand, has even expressed the Malaysian police’s interest in questioning Justo, who is currently under Thai police custody, Lim noted.

“If Justo is arrested  in Thailand by Thai police for alleged blackmail of his former company, what has this got to do with the Malaysian police?” he asked.

“Or is the police finding opportunities to question Justo on alleged ‘tampered emails’, which the Thai police are not interested at all, so as to justify all the recent ministerial hullaballoo over 1MDB ‘tampered emails’?”

Lim also mocked Wan Junaidi for saying yesterday that it was “logical” to believe claims that the leaked documents were tampered with simply because they were seen to have originated from Justo.

“No need for facts or evidence, or even collaboration from the Thai police about the outcome of their interrogation of Justo!

“All that the Malaysian ministers need to do is to make the “logical assumption” from thin air that there had been ‘tampered emails’,” he scoffed.

“Thank God Junaidi and the ministers whose ‘logical assumptions’ allow them to  discover  ‘tampered emails’ from thin air are not the running the police force, or as there would be utter chaos in Malaysia when the administration of justice is no more based on facts and evidence, but ‘logical assumptions’ of low IQ Malaysians,” he added.

Yesterday, Sarawak Report urged PGI to confirm claims that their investigation on the documents that Justo purportedly leaked had been doctored by the Swiss national.

In a letter sent by Reed Smith LLP on behalf of Rewcastle-Brown, the site’s lawyers sought for PGI to confirm the veracity of the quotes and to identify the individual who made the remarks.

Hundreds of millions were allegedly siphoned out from the abortive 1MDB-PetroSaudi deal in one claim, while another purported that the funds were used to help a Malaysian tycoon purchase a local bank.