18 September 2016
Najib has dangled projects like a high speed train in Thailand – but in return demanded extradition of key 1MDB witness Xavier Justo
Switzerland’s Le Temps newspaper has today cited Swiss official sources as confirming that Malaysia’s Najib Razak took the opportunity of his official visit to Thailand and key talks on border cooperation, in order to personally interfere in the case of Swiss national Xavier Justo.
Justo is a key witness in the 1MDB scandal, which has now directly implicated Razak in stealing billions from Malaysia’s development fund and diverting much of the money into his own personal bank accounts in KL.
The US Department of Justice has traced much of the rest of the stolen cash to key co-conspirators, in particular Najib’s proxy in 1MDB, Jho Low, and also his stepson Riza Aziz, who bought multi-million dollar properties and funded the film Wolf of Wall Street with the money.
Jho Low, who was named in the DOJ indictment and has remained a fugitive from Malaysia for at least a year, also attended the talks in Thailand, according to Le Temps.
The news confirms that Najib is seeking to make this witness against him into a political prisoner in a third country. It is also plain he is prepared to use the Malaysian national interest in cross border negotiations as a bargaining chip to get his way.
Thailand is desperate to build a wall between the two territories to counter terrorists and is also interested in a high-speed rail link to Singapore. It has now been learnt that Najib had sought as part of any deal to force the Thais to extradite Justo on spurious legal grounds to Malaysia!
The gambit was made by the Malaysian Prime Minister at a top level meeting with the Thai Premier, but was apparently rejected, not least on the grounds that the Swiss and also American authorities have been pressing for Justo to be allowed to serve the remainder of his controversial sentence back home in Switzerland.
Under the well established terms of bi-lateral agreements on prisoner transfers between the two countries, Justo should by now already have been released by the Thais in any case. Private assurances have been given to the Swiss that the transfer would take place before the middle of the month.
However, the thwarted Najib is understood to have demanded that if he could not lay hands on Justo then the Thais must at least prevent the Swiss recovering their national either! Yesterday, he appeared to have achieved his end as the Thai authorities signalled to the Swiss that under amended rules they considered him no longer eligible for release (his remaining sentence now being less than a year).
Didier Burkhalter, the Swiss Foreign Minister said to be mulling an unprecedented visit to Bangkok to demand the return of their political prisoner!
The U-turn is believed to have caused consternation and fury in Berne, where the Swiss Government plainly now regard their national as being held as a political prisoner for criminal reasons.
The case against Justo has now been exposed as highly flawed, in that he was forced into a confession by his accusers from the company PetroSaudi, who are highly implicated in the 1MDB case and who were allowed undue interference in the case.
Both the Swiss and the Thai authorities, who were previously led to believe that Justo had attempted to extort money and was involved in forging data, now realise that his disclosures were correct and have provided vital evidence exposing major thefts from the Malaysian public purse.
According to Le Temps, if Justo remains a victim of Malaysia’s cover-up, his Swiss lawyers have made clear that there will be open protests at the highest level. The Swiss Foreign Minister has himself indicated that he is willing to fly personally to Bangkok on an unprecedented mission to demand the return of their national, say sources of Le Temps.
Such a move would undoubtedly provoke world headlines and be bad news for Thailand’s reputation as a safe tourism destination. It would also damage the long-standing relationship with the Thai King’s favourite European country.
But, it is clear that on this issue the Swiss, together with the Americans, are serious.
Planned extradition to Malayia?
What Najib had planned to gain by extradition can only be surmised.
Judging by Malaysia’s past treatment of prisoners with evidence against Najib, showcase apologies are likely to have been extracted in the run-up to the next election. Doubtless also, Justo would be tried under the panoply of new ‘anti-terror’ laws and the legislation against ‘activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy’ (eg embarrassing the Prime Minister) which can allow imprisonment for 20 years.
The Swiss are plainly deeply anxious that Najib will continue to attempt to extract this witness against him from neighbouring Thailand, in a case that looks set to pitch western democracies and legal systems up against Najib’s now arbitrary government in Malaysia.
When will the house of Najib come crashing down???
Evil begats evil and more EVIL. Let him be an example to all when he FALLS!
Its sickening for a statesman to behave like this1