KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or anyone from the Malaysian delegation at no point raised any matter relating to convicted blackmailer Andre Xavier Justo during the 6th Malaysia-Thailand Annual Consultation meeting in Bangkok recently.
The Prime Minister’s press secretary Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad said that contrary to what Swiss newspaper Le Temps published, Malaysia does not sanction attempts to interfere with the internal affairs or judicial process of other countries.
“Furthermore, the Prime Minister was not accompanied by the individuals Le Temps named,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
Tengku Sariffuddin said the reality was that at the meeting, security and joint efforts to combat extremism topped the agenda, while pacts on trade, economic growth for the people and inclusive development for Muslims in southern Thailand were also signed.
Bangkok made a decision to deny a request by Justo, a former PetroSaudi International employee, to serve the remainder of his three-year jail term in his native country, Switzerland.
News portal Sarawak Report and Le Temps then claimed that Bangkok made the decision under external pressure.
Tengku Sariffuddin also said that for two years, former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad has waged a campaign to unseat a democratically-elected government, all for selfish political gain to benefit his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
He said, when Mahathir’s campaign failed, he shamefully called for foreign intervention in his own country and as part of this, he had used the partisan political blog Sarawak Report to influence major western media.
“In turn, Sarawak Report has consistently spread false smears and malicious misinformation to western media, some of whom have abandoned proper journalistic principles by publishing grave allegations based purely on claims from anonymous sources all fed to them by politically-motivated parties,” he said.
He said the false allegations published by Le Temps was the latest example where they attributed these to unnamed anonymous sources, but in fact the smears were briefed to them by Sarawak Report.
“As part of a now familiar pattern, these “sources” failed to supply any evidence to back up their claims because none exists,” he added.
Justo pleaded guilty on Aug 17, 2015 to attempting to blackmail PetroSaudi International, which had dealings with 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
The court ordered the jail term to start on June 22, 2015 the day Justo was arrested at Koh Samui resort island in southern Thailand.
He was charged under Section 338 of the Thai Penal Code which carries a jail term of one to 10 years and a fine of between 2,000 baht (RM237) and 20,000 baht (RM2,378). – Bernama