Azmin’s office insists videos are fake, refuting foreign reports

(The Star) – The office of Datuk Seri Azmin Ali insists the viral sex videos are fake, refuting foreign media reports that the footage does not appear to be manipulated.

“We are not convinced by these news reports and we have lodged a police report based on our belief that these videos are fake,” said Azmin’s political secretary Hilman Idham.

On June 14, Hilman lodged a police report at the Putrajaya district police headquarters, claiming that Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz had made a false report, which he said was criminal accusation.

Haziq was arrested by the police at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on June 14, as he was about to take a flight to Manila but was released the next day on police bail.

Haziq further claimed that the other person in the video was Azmin, who is Economic Affairs Minister and PKR deputy president.

Hilman was commenting on a report by Australian media SBS News on Monday (June 17) which said that experts have studied the videos and concluded that they are likely to be the originals.

It quoted Kevin Nguyen, a digital forensics expert who analysed the videos for SBS News.

“At an image level, forensically it checks out. I ran a number of forensic analysis … across the three videos and at the six points I checked there was no evidence of photo or image manipulation.”

However, Nguyen said he could not rule out the video being a “deepfake”, a term for artificial intelligence-based technology, which involves machine learning techniques to superimpose a face on a video.

“If it’s a deepfake, it’s a very good one,” he said.

SBS News quoted another expert, Giorgio Patrini, CEO of Australian company Deeptrace, a specialised company which provides analysis of deepfake videos.

The report quoted her as saying that the video resolution and quality was too low to run a conclusive analysis.

“None of the analysts could confirm that Azmin is the man in the video, they only concluded the video appears to not have been digitally altered,” read the SBS report.

The report also quoted Denby Weller, from the University of Technology Sydney, as saying that some aspects of the video raised “red flags”.

“It’s been shot in portrait mode on a phone by the looks of it, although that look can be artificially created in post-production. It has also been shot from a slightly elevated position (the height of the camera is very hard to fake), which would indicate that the phone was pointing slightly downwards at the men,” she said.