Politician in 1MDB scandal identified

Opposition leader allegedly met ex-PetroSaudi exec; info disclosed shocking and serious: Malaysian police head

Police Inspector- General Khalid Abu Bakar said a opposition leader and some others will be questioned.
Police Inspector- General Khalid Abu Bakar said a opposition leader and some others will be questioned.

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian police have identified the opposition leader who allegedly met former PetroSaudi executive Xavier Andre Justo and will summon several people for questioning over information disclosed by Thai police on Thursday.

The politician as well as a Malaysian media boss were among a group of people who had set up a meeting with the Swiss national in Singapore to buy documents that they could use against Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the information revealed by their counterparts in Thailand was shocking and serious.

"A police report has been lodged based on the revealed information so that we can conduct investigations here," Tan Sri Khalid told reporters yesterday.

"We have identified the opposition leader involved and several other individuals who will need to come in soon to have their statements recorded," he said.

Tan Sri Khalid warned that those who did not cooperate would be arrested to assist in investigations.

"We also encourage anyone with documents pertaining to this case to come forward immediately before we go after them," he said.

Royal Thai Police spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri said in Bangkok on Thursday that Justo admitted meeting a group of about 10 people, some of them "very important", to sell them documents he had taken from PetroSaudi.

Justo was arrested in Koh Samui last month for trying to blackmail his former employer.

Lieutenant-General Prawuth told The Straits Times in a separate interview that a Malaysia-born woman who moved to Britain had met Justo in Thailand and also in Singapore.

He also said the woman runs a news blog, believed to be the Sarawak Report, which has alleged that billions of ringgit linked to 1Malaysian Development Bhd (1MDB) were deposited into Datuk Seri Najib's private bank accounts.

As pressure mounts on the prime minister, who is 1MDB's chief adviser, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein yesterday urged Malaysians to be patient and "not jump the gun" as investigations were ongoing.

He said that unverified statements, particularly on social media, would not get justice for all those allegedly involved, including Mr Najib himself.

"Most important right now is for the public not to be hasty and be guided by emotions," he told reporters at the prime minister's Hari Raya open house.

"Wait for the Public Accounts Committee's findings, wait for the task force report," he said.

The Saudi-based oil company PetroSaudi and 1MDB were involved in a short-lived joint venture in 2009 that Malaysia's opposition has blamed for creating the heavy financial losses at 1MDB.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2015, with the headline 'Politician in 1MDB scandal identified'. Print Edition | Subscribe