I take my hats off to Raja Petra Kamarudin for this riveting post. I had been thinking of Watergate for the past few days and to pitch it and to synch with the current political landscape. Well, RPK has done it again. His sharp thinking and powerful political analysis shines in this fantastic post.
Here goes...Thank you, Raja Petra Kamarudin!
JUSTOGATE: HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO JAIL?
Justogate is going to remain a word in Malaysian political history just as Watergate is in American political history. But in the Watergate affair 69 people were charged, 48 were found guilty, and many people were sent to jail. Will the same thing happen in the Justogate affair?
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Watergate, an event that is considered a major political scandal in US history, is about the 17th June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration’s attempted cover-up of its involvement.
The word ‘Watergate’, however, is now synonymous with any clandestine and often illegal activity. Hence the Iran-Contra scandal became known as Irangate, and so on. And now Malaysia has its own version of the Watergate scandal that is going to go down in history dubbed as Justogate. And both involve data stealing.
It all started with Sarawak Report playing the role of Wikileaks (will Sarawak Report now go down in history dubbed as Sarawakleaks?) by exposing a series of e-mails exposing 1MDB in what is alleged as illegal activities. Sarawak Report, which calls itself a whistleblower website, stunned the world with this expose based on what it claims are three million e-mails that it has in its possession.
In the euphoria of this expose no one stopped to ask how Sarawak Report came to be in possession of these e-mails that is said to run into millions. But that is a question that needs not be asked because what is important is that Sarawak Report is a whistleblower operation and it is the job of whistleblowers to obtain information to leak.
Then it was revealed that the three million e-mails were, in fact, illegally obtained. But that, too, is not an issue because, of course, whistleblowers need to obtain information illegally. If not how else would one obtain incriminating and damaging evidence?
Then it was revealed that the person who stole those e-mails and handed them to Sarawak Report was a Swiss national named Xavier Andre Justo. And it seems he initially stole them so that he could use them to blackmail PetroSaudi International for an amount that has so far not been revealed.
What has been revealed, though, is that Justo did receive RM15 million from PetroSaudi. The story to that RM15 million is that this was for his termination of services, a sort of golden handshake, which even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad felt was a bit too high if it was just for his termination of services and hence must have been hush money.
I mean, even Faekah Husin received just RM1 million for her termination and Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali feels that it is too much and double what she should probably have received — and now they have demanded that she return the money or else they are going to court to sue for the return of the money.
Anyway, the story now is that Justo had tried to blackmail PetroSaudi with these three million e-mails as leverage. Was that RM15 million they paid him, therefore, the blackmail money? If so then is he not satisfied with just RM15 million and is demanding more? Or was the RM15 million the amount that was agreed but after PetroSaudi paid the RM15 million Justo decided to not destroy or return those e-mails and instead sell them a second time?
If what PetroSaudi paid Justo the amount that was agreed but after receiving the RM15 million Justo reneged on the deal and refused to destroy or return the e-mails but instead sold them to a second party, does this mean someone else then paid Justo a second amount of money?
Justo is alleged to have blackmailed PetroSaudi using the three million e-mails as the leverage. PetroSaudi paid Justo RM15 million allegedly for the termination of his services, which some people say is too much if just for termination of services. We can only assume, therefore, that the RM15 million was not for termination of services but for blackmail.
But then the story does not end there. If the RM15 million was for hush money then how come there is no hush-up but the e-mails ended up in someone else’s hands, in this case Sarawak Report.
We can only assume that after receiving the RM15 million from PetroSaudi, Justo decided to go for a second bite of the apple and sell those same e-mails a second time. But what is not known yet is did Justo sell those e-mails to Sarawak Report, probably for yet another few million Ringgit, or did he sell them to Dr Mahathir Mohamad who then handed them to Sarawak Report for publishing. And was Sufi Yusof involved and what was his role in all this?
It is no secret that Clare Rewcastle Brown met up with Dr Mahathir. In fact, Clare’s husband did have previous dealings with Dr Mahathir as what Malaysiakini published earlier this month:
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