Tong Kooi Ong, chairman of The Edge Media Group and Ho Kay Tat, publisher of The Edge, have released a statement in response to allegations made by Xavier Andre Justo in an interview that appeared in Singapore's The Straits Times Friday.
Justo is in custody of Thai police for allegedly trying to blackmail his employer, PetroSaudi International.
Here is their statement in full:
Yes, we misled Justo on payment to get proof of US$1.83 billion (S$2.5 billion) scam
We refer to the story in The Straits Times today in which Xavier Andre Justo accused us of not paying him what we said we would for the information he gave us on the scandalous 1MDB-PetroSaudi International joint venture.
First off, we must say The Straits Times journalist must be very well-connected to be given access to Justo in his Bangkok jail.
Even our Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who is now in Bangkok, has so far been refused access to Justo.
We wonder which powerful hidden hand arranged for Nirmal Ghosh of the Singaporean daily to meet Justo so that he can launch an attack on us?
Justo is obviously an angry man, and understandably so, as we did not pay him what he wanted.
Yes, we misled him. But that was the only way to get hold of the evidence to expose how a small group of Malaysians and foreigners cheated the people of Malaysia of US$1.83billion.
His statement confirmed what we have said earlier, i.e., we never paid anyone.
As for Justo's allegations that we told him we intended to tamper with the documents and that our objective was to bring down the Government, surely if we had such intentions we would not tell it to someone we were meeting for the first time. All the more so when we know he will be upset with us because we will eventually not pay him what he wants.
There was no tampering because we immediately did a digital fingerprint of the hard disc that contained over 400,000 emails and documents and secured it. What is in the discs we have given Bank Negara Malaysia, the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission this week is the exact copy as the one Justo passed to us and he has said he did not tamper with it.
Furthermore, the money trail we have put together and passed to investigators showing how money from 1MDB were moved into the accounts of various people at several global banks in several countries can be easily verified by investigators with help from their counterparts in this country.
Justo is understandably a bitter man. But this is not about Justo, neither is it about us.
It is about a scheme to cheat the people of Malaysia of US$1.83billion through the 1MDB-PetroSaudi joint venture.
That so many Government agencies are now investigating 1MDB and that it is now almost an insolvent company that needs to be bailed out validates all the work The Edge media group have done to expose what had happened.
We have done nothing wrong and we are here to assist investigators unlike some who seem to have disappeared.