Public Accounts Committee investigations will continue

Public Accounts Committee investigations will continue
PHOTO: Reuters

PETALING JAYA - The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probe into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will not be influenced by the arrest of a former PetroSaudi International employee - at least for now.

"The PAC investigations on 1MDB will continue as planned. Our probe is about the governance of the organisation and issues of any wrongdoing are only part of our investigations," said PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed when contacted yesterday.

He said neither the arrest of Xavier Justo (pic) nor the alleged doctoring of documents released by him would affect the committee's investigations.

However, he also qualified this by saying: "Our job is to consider any information including the PetroSaudi deal and interview witnesses to verify the authenticity of the information."

Nur Jazlan, who is currently abroad, said the committee would sift through the information and evidence gathered during its hearing to come to its own findings.

PAC deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw echoed similar sentiments, saying the arrest of Justo was "an issue between PetroSaudi and a former employee".

"He is not employed by the Finance Ministry, which owns 1MDB," he said.

Dr Tan said the bipartisan committee was focused on 1MDB's dealings and transactions in entirety and were not confined to the PetroSaudi deal.

"Our concerns are those expressed by the rakyat as it involves a large amount of public funds.

"Where did 1MDB get its money, how was it spent and where is the money now?" he asked, adding that PAC was answerable to Parliament.

Nur Jazlan and Dr Tan were asked to comment on the leaked documents by Justo to online portal Sarawak Report.

Justo was arrested at his home in Thailand on Monday and was charged with attempted blackmail and extortion against his former employer.

The PAC has so far called 1MDB auditors Deloitte and KPMG to testify before it.

1MDB's president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy, and its former chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi will appear before the committee on Aug 4 and 5. Also to be called are the company's board of directors.

It is learnt that the Cabinet, which met yesterday, was informed of the arrest but did not discuss the incident.

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