Sarawak Report articles very good fiction: Ex-journalist

Sarawak Report articles very good fiction: Ex-journalist
PHOTO: Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR - Sarawak Report allegedly used the expertise of a web designer to fabricate e-mail messages and agreements that were then used in news articles to discredit Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

In Part Two of an apparent video expose by Lester Melanyi, the 49 year-old alleged that the designer was working part time with the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) and purportedly faked the documents on the instructions of Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

In the video, Lester claimed he had contact with the man but said that he did not know how the designer created the fake e-mail messages or which programme he used to falsify the documents.

He said Sarawak Report would e-mail him drafts of articles for him to edit before these were posted on its website.

He pointed to two Sarawak Report articles - How Jho Low used PetroSaudi as a front to siphon billions out of 1MDB and Riza and Jho Low face questions over bribery and tax evasion - and called them "very good fiction".

"It will be a best seller if it can come out in a novel. All being created. All being created", said the former journalist.

The only input he gave was that he thought a picture used with the second article, which purportedly showed the home of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor's son Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, was in fact "not his home".

Lester said that what was being done by the Sarawak Report was "not right".

"And I'm going to do this because I know I'm doing the right thing," he said.

Lester also claimed that BMF, a non-profit conservation group, paid him money which was banked into his account by Rewcastle-Brown, to edit the articles.

He claimed that she also handled all his expenses, even buying plane tickets for him to travel from Kuching to London for work.

The video of him then cuts to a blurry picture of an e-ticket receipt from an airline that was not clear enough to see any of the details.

Lester also reaffirmed that he believed two Opposition leaders were involved in the supposed "Mission to criminialise Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak & 1MDB."

Lester claimed that one of them contacted him in January to ask whether he was involved in "the 1MDB mission".

Last night, DAP MP Tony Pua said his lawyers would this week issue a letter of demand against Lester and "anyone who republishes or repeats his utterly baseless accusations".

"Lester Melanyi will have seven days to retract and apologise for his widely publicised video statement," he added.

BMF has yet to respond to an e-mail from The Star asking for a comment regarding Lester's allegations.

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