KUALA LUMPUR, July 20—DAP’s Tony Pua today said he will initiate legal action against former Sarawak Tribune editor Lester Melanyi for naming him as a co-conspirator in a plot to forge documents on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MBD).
Expressing shock at Lester’s claim that they communicated on the claimed 1MDB conspiracy, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said this was a fabrication as he had not heard of the former journalist’s name prior to the release of two videos accusing website Sarawak Report of forging documents on the state-owned firm.
“It is a malicious attempt designed to destroy the reputation and credibility of those who were most critical of 1MDB.
“Lester’s accusations meant that I had cheated and lied in my criticisms against the scandal-ridden company and that I had also conspired with other individuals to do the same via the Sarawak Report,” Pua said in a statement today.
In the second video released today, Lester named Pua and PKR’s Rafizi Ramli as the two opposition members that he knew were involved in the conspiracy that he claimed revolved around forgeries built from information secured from former PetroSaudi International executive Xavier Andre Justo.
Lester claimed that he knew of Pua’s participation because the latter had communicated with him to ask if the former journalist was part of the “1MDB action”.
Pua, who is DAP national publicity secretary, also mocked Umno minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan as the organiser of Lester’s exposés, saying it revealed the latter’s desperation in having to rely on such methods to defend Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak against criticism.
The DAP lawmaker said his lawyers will send a letter of demand against Lester to seek a public apology and retraction within seven days under threat of defamation action.
“I certainly hope that whatever fees Lester received from BN or its affiliated NGOs for the made-up ‘confession’ is worth his while, and more importantly perhaps is to request Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan to foot his legal bills,” Pua added.
Lester in today’s video claimed he met Justo at least twice in London, during which time the former PSI man released documents on the firm’s deals with 1MDB to Sarawak Report, which he said then fabricated nine times as much in forged documents.
He claimed in an earlier video that he stopped working for Sarawak Report last year because he refused to be part of a mission to forge 1MDB documents to depict Najib as the recipient of US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) from the state-owned firm.
On Thursday, he admitted to Malay Mail Online that he was paid to expose a conspiracy involving Malaysia’s opposition, Sarawak Report and its UK-based founder Clare Rewcastle-Brown in their alleged plot to unseat Najib through allegedly leaks of doctored documents on 1MDB.
Rewcastle-Brown has consistently denied forging documents for SR’s exposés on 1MDB, criticising her Umno critics instead for having so easily bought by the unverified news.