Saturday, July 25, 2015

'I had no part in Tong's offer to Justo'

8:00PM Jul 24, 2015
By Andrew Ong
Clare Rewcastle-Brown, the editor of whistleblower websiteSarawak Report, today said she was not involved in attempts by media tycoon Tong Kooi Ong to mislead former PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) executive Xavier Andre Justo regarding financial payment for information.

Contacted by Malaysiakini, she said Tong had indicated to Justo that he would be paid.

"But when it emerged they were not paying Justo, I had to deal with a lot of upset from him (Justo). I did not want to have anything to do with it but offered to try and mediate.

"It did not come to anything," she said.

Tong, who owns The Edge Media Group, had admitted to "misleading" Justo in order to secure documents which would expose alleged shady deals involving 1MDB.

The company's printing permit for two publications - The Edge Financial Daily and The Edge Weekly - has been suspended for three months by the Home Ministry today.

'Justo wanted to right wrongs'

Recounting her conversations with Justo, Rewcastle-Brown said the Swiss national had often expressed that what mattered was doing the right thing for Malaysians.

"But that had cost him a lot and he felt these costs should have been covered. He is a nice man and was genuinely outraged at the greed and scale of theft in the 1MDB-PetroSaudi International deal.

"I don't doubt that," she said.

"We talked about his feelings and his desire to do the right thing by Malaysia often. There was never any talk but of getting out the truth.

"But PSI and 1MDB folk have preferred to go on the run rather than try and argue against what we have said," she added.

'Docs were dynamite'

In early March, Sarawak Report ran a series of reports which claimed there were irregularities in the joint-venture between 1MDB and PSI inked in 2009. The JV lasted only six months.

1MDB invested US$1 billion into the project, but leaked documents, exposed by Sarawak Report, indicated that US$700 million was channeled into a company known as Good Star Ltd, owned by Jho Low, a known associate of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

A report by The Star lent credence to Sarawak Report's claims.

According to the July 11 report, 1MDB chairperson Mohd Bakke Salleh and director Azlan Mohd Zainol had quit in protestbecause US$700 million was diverted.

Rewcastle-Brown still stood by Sarawak Report's articles on this matter and pointed out that London's Sunday Times, which also reported on the same matter, had believed it too.

"There was no question of tampering these documents. They were dynamite. I could see that and so could the Sunday Times," she said.
~ Malaysiakini

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