KL top cop denies seeking bribe to settle blogger's case

IGP Khalid Abu Bakar said police are investigating a Facebook page which showed a screen capture of an alleged WhatsApp conversation between blogger Papagomo and him.
IGP Khalid Abu Bakar said police are investigating a Facebook page which showed a screen capture of an alleged WhatsApp conversation between blogger Papagomo and him.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's top cop has denied a circulating WhatsApp conversation released by a group claiming to be linked to embattled Umno blogger Papagomo, in which he purportedly solicited a RM20,000 (S$7,190) bribe.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar said that an investigation has begun into the Facebook page Papagomo Original, which allegedly released what appeared to be a screen capture of a conversation between the blogger and IGP Khalid.

IGP Khalid, in the purported conversation, asked for the RM20,000 bribe to "settle" the case after the blogger was arrested last Tuesday over his alleged involvement in the Low Yat Plaza brawl.

However, the WhatsApp screen capture showed IGP Khalid's screen name as KBA51, while his more commonly known Twitter account handle is @KBAB51.

IGP Khalid told The Star that Papagomo's lawyer has filed a report saying the Facebook page does not belong to the blogger.

The page also posted rumours of alleged meetings between Malay non-governmental organisations and plans for a massive armed brawl in Low Yat on Saturday.

Papagomo, whose real name is Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, was held by police for four days after allegedly posting a picture of an unrelated robbery victim on social media and linking it to the Low Yat incident. He was released from police custody last Friday.

In a separate case, IGP Khalid will meet former PetroSaudi executive Xavier Andre Justo, who is being held in Thailand, once Malaysia obtains permission from the Thai police.

Justo has been charged with blackmailing PetroSaudi, which has been linked to a controversy surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He claims he met key opposition politicians with the intention of selling classified information to them. Police said some of the documents from him were used by whistle-blower site Sarawak Report. The site was inaccessible to many Malaysians yesterday, reported Malaysian Insider.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission confirmed yesterday that access to Sarawak Report has been blocked on grounds that it may undermine the stability of the country.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2015, with the headline 'KL top cop denies seeking bribe to settle blogger's case'. Print Edition | Subscribe