Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sarawak Report wants cyber investigation firm to confirm quotes over ‘tampered’ documents

Published: 30 June 2015 1:21 AM
The Sarawak Report expose which was published in March with revelations on the 1MDB-PetroSaudi joint venture and its links to Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho. – Sarawak Report screenshot, June 29, 2015.

The Sarawak Report expose which was published in March with revelations on the 1MDB-PetroSaudi joint venture and its links to Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho. – Sarawak Report screenshot, June 29, 2015.

Sarawak Report is disputing news reports quoting a "cyber intelligence" firm on the veracity of its articles a few months ago pertaining to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue.
The London-based whistleblower site wants Protection Group International (PGI) to confirm quotes that had been published by the New Straits Times last week in reports following the arrest of PetroSaudi International Ltd's former director Xavier Andre Justo in Thailand.
Sarawak Report said PGI opted not to answer, saying it needed to check with its client PetroSaudi, which is one of the parties linked to the scandal-ridden 1MDB.
The NST had last week reported PGI as saying that Justo "tampered" with emails from PetroSaudi, and Sarawak Report had then published these "tampered" documents in "its claims of impropriety against 1MDB".
PGI was further quoted as saying, "Our analysis substantiates that Justo is the source of the data published by Sarawak Report.
“For example, when we looked into a PowerPoint file that was on one of the Sarawak Report’s blogs, we found evidence in the metadata of that file that it had been handled by a certain 'xavierj' in 2013; two years after Justo left PetroSaudi, and four years after the file had originally been created by a law firm that advised PetroSaudi.
“It is also clear that the stolen data sets are incomplete, and underwent an editing process after they were removed from PetroSaudi’s systems, and before they were published on the Internet. There are many inconsistencies between the published data and the data which still exists on files within PetroSaudi relating to that period of time. Simply put, it is incomplete data, creatively selected and edited to fit a desired narrative."
Over the past weekend Sarawak Report’s London lawyers sent an urgent letter via email to PGI to confirm the quotes attributed to them by the NST.
The company responded by saying they cannot say whether or not they made these statements to the NST without getting permission from PetroSaudi International, who are themselves under several investigations regarding the disappearance of millions of ringgit from 1MDB.
Sarawak Report questions how is the Malaysian government to rely on alleged statements from PGI, when the firm is not prepared to confirm whether or not they made them without permission from this interested party.
"In short PGI are not prepared to publicly go on the record and confirm that any of its employees made these remarks to NST," Sarawak Report added.
Sarawak Report had claimed in a February 28 report that the entire 1MDB-PetroSaudi joint venture deal was initiated by businessman Low Taek Jho and his team on September 8, 2009, less than a month before the deal was signed.
DAP lawmaker Tony Pua had also said, at the time, that PetroSaudi International had created the shell company, 1MDB-PetroSaudi, from scratch on September 18, 2009, just 10 days before its subsidiary received US$1 billion from 1MDB.
Four days later, on September 29, 1MDB bought 40% of new shares in 1MDB-PetroSaudi and injected RM1 billion in cash. The next day, US$700 million was taken out of 1MDB-PetroSaudi and given to PSI.
Following the arrest of Justo last week, PetroSaudi International released a statement saying "Xavier Justo was arrested at his home in Thailand by the Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police and charged with attempted blackmail and extortion against PetroSaudi International.
"We are relieved that Mr Justo will now face justice through the courts. We have been the victims of a regrettable crime that has unfortunately been politicised in Malaysia.
"We are happy to finally set the record straight and we apologise to the Malaysian people for the harm that one of our unscrupulous ex-employees has caused to them," he added.
However, a few critics of the government-owned investment firm, including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former information minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin, are questioning the sequence of events leading to Justo's arrest, saying "it appears planned, as if to clear Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's name". – June 29, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/sarawak-report-wants-cyber-investigation-firm-to-confirm-quotes-over-tamper#sthash.6diRSgA9.dpuf

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