Deepak Jaikishan - implicated in alleged attempt to bribe a private investigator to retract damning claims against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak - has accused popular blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin a blackmailer extraordinaire .
"I paid him RM50,000 and gave him a Sony laptop to have a story about me removed from (his blog) Malaysia Today . I can prove it," Deepak told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur late yesterday evening.
Contacted by email, Raja Petra - who is based in London - immediately denied the allegation.
Deepak claimed that this had happened nearly three years ago when the first blog-post naming him as being involved in dealings with premier Najib Abdul Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor was published by Malaysia Today , operated by Raja Petra or RPK as he is popularly known.
Deepak, who heads a property investment firm, claimed that RPK removed the post after money changed hands.
He disclosed that he paid off the blogger through a mutual friend after arranging to meet RPK in a Japanese restaurant in Subang.
" Malaysia Today is the perfect platform to extort money," he said, also claiming that RPK's modus operandi is to blackmail and extort money from people on whom he has dug up dirt.
Asked why he had decided to pay up, Deepak said he had felt pressured as “no one would want to have stories about them, no matter how untrue, on a site like Malaysia Today ”.
"Would you want stories or photos about you or your family on Malaysia Today ?" he asked.
Deepak also claimed that others - who he described but did not name - had similarly paid off RPK to silence him:
Asked if this revelation has been timed for the Sarawak election, Deepak denied this.
"What I am doing is insignificant to the Sarawak election," he said.
He said he has been forced to act because RPK's recent attacks against him have impinged upon his character and business reputation.
"He is attacking me because he received money from my business rivals. I have to protect my business and my family. There is nothing political in his attack against me. He is desperately looking for a story, and I will not be that story.”
Deepak said that he intends to lodge a police report against the blogger some time this week, and is mulling legal action in the form of a defamation suit against RPK in Malaysia, London or Australia.
"I am talking to my lawyers. If I do not make him a bankrupt, then my name is not Deepak," he vowed.
Deepak added that he has proof to back all his claims and is not afraid to answer any challenge in court.
"If I am wrong, he can sue me. But these are all facts that I can prove," he added.
In an email response to Deepak’s allegation, RPK wrote: “Deepak has made these allegations against me. I deny them.
“Since Deepak has dragged others into this then it would be appropriate for these ‘others’ to either confirm or deny Deepak's allegations.
“If they are unable to and Deepak pursues the threatened action against me then he does so at his peril.
“In the meantime why doesn't Deepak actually deal with the issues at hand? He is trying to distract attention away from them by these silly threats against me.
“He should know by now that I am always ready for a fight. So let's see how he addresses the real issue.
“Why were you (Deepak) involved in getting (private investigator) P Balasubramaniam out of the country and paying him to stay away? Who asked you to do this? This is the issue at hand.”