'ST reporter got to Justo after several days'

'ST reporter got to Justo after several days'
Xavier Andre

PETALING JAYA - There were no "powerful hidden hands" behind the interview with Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo who is in Thai police custody, says Singapore daily The Straits Times foreign editor Audrey Quek.

"Our reporter in Bangkok, following up on this story, had for several days sought access to Justo and was eventually offered it by his lawyer.

"Naturally, we pursued the opportunity, given the widespread interest in it and its significance," she said in a statement.

The Edge Media Group owner Datuk Tong Kooi Ong and CEO/publisher Ho Kay Tat questioned how The Straits Times had managed to gain access to Justo.

They had wondered "which powerful hidden hand arranged for Nirmal Ghosh of the Singapore daily to meet Justo so that he can launch an attack on us?"

However, Quek said: "We know of no hidden hand behind our getting access to him."

Justo had claimed during the interview that Tong agreed to pay him US$2mil for data stolen from PetroSaudi Interna­tional. But the money was never paid.

Tong and Ho in a statement admitted to misleading Justo.

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