PETALING JAYA (May 21): Former PetroSaudi International executive Xavier Andre Justo, who released hundreds of thousands of emails which led to worldwide investigations involving 1MDB and its business partners, yesterday met Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Kuala Lumpur.

The Swiss national posted a photo of himself with Dr Mahathir on Facebook with the caption “What a great privilege and what an incredible moment”.

Justo was sentenced to three years’ jail the South Bangkok Criminal Court in Thailand on Aug 17, 2015, for stealing 90 gigabytes of data which included emails, documents and other materials from PetroSaudi International.

His three-year jail term was cut short after he was granted two separate royal pardons, firstly the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in August and subsequently the newly-ascended King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.

The royal pardon he received from the late King Bhumibol enabled Justo to commute one-third of his jail term, while the one granted King Maha Vajiralongkorn entitled him for an early release.

Malaysian police recorded his statement in connection with the investigation into the state-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in December 2015, while he was still in prison.

He drew interest in Malaysia in view of the cooperation between PetroSaudi International and 1MDB.

Justo is alleged to have previously shared information on 1MDB with Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, who arrived here last Friday.

The government withdrew an arrest warrant issued against Rewcastle-Brown for her articles published based on hundreds of thousands of emails provided Justo.

Dr Mahathir has ordered fresh investigations into 1MDB and its subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd, and the flow of hundreds of millions of ringgit through bank accounts in Najib’s name. Najib who held the finance portfolio had oversight of 1MDB.

He is scheduled to have his statement recorded the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission tomorrow over the probe into the financial scandal of SRC International.

The revelations of the tangled web of financial deals and investments involved Penang-born businessman Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) and government-owned 1MDB eventually led to investigations across the world and accusations the US Department of Justice of “kleptocracy” of as much as US$4 billion ($5.37 billion).

Police investigations have led to a two-day search of Najib’s house and the seizure of almost 300 cartons of luxury handbags and 72 luggage bags containing cash, jewellery and other items.

Justo filed a complaint in March with the Swiss Attorney-General’s Office, accusing PetroSaudi International executives Tarek Obaid and Patrick Mahony of having made threats and attempted blackmail, extortion and coercion.

Justo has also accused Obaid of having received funds from 1MDB for PetroSaudi International’s RM1.4 billion buyout of the Sarawak bank UBG Bhd, owned Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud in exchange for Abdul Taib’s support of Najib.

This story first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily (May 21)