Malaysiakini News

Sarawak Report goes for Lester's jugular

Published:  |  Modified:

Sarawak Report today continued to debunk the credibility of former journalist Lester Melanyi, who himself is trying to discredit the whistleblower site.

In a posting today, the website rubbished the former Sarawak Tribune editor's latest claim that a British graphic designer had helped Sarawak Report fabricate evidence against 1MDB.

"In the video, Lester gave the name of this fictitious forger. He is called James Steward Stephen, raved Melanyi. ...the video then treated viewers to an alleged picture of the master criminal.

"Unfortunately, as any online check makes clear, this is the face of another Englishman, one James Steward (no Stephen), who works as a senior station manager for the bus company Abellio, based in Norwich," Sa rawak Report says.

It sai d a press officer with Abellio Greater Anglia confirmed that the man in a picture worked for them, and that it was a case of mistaken identity.

"This is a case of mistaken identity and James Steward ( photo ) does not have any connections with Malaysia. To reiterate, the person concerned is not James Steward (an employee of Abellio Greater Anglia). James’ name is James Steward, not James Steward Stephens," the press officer said.

Besides the photo faux pas, Sarawak Report also ridiculed Lester's claims that the website sent him advanced copies of their stories for him to check.

"To illustrate this boast, Lester’s video duly flashed screen shots of our regular newsletter bulletins (which) he received, because like 7,000 other people he had signed up (for Sarawak Report 's newsletter).

"Our regular newsletter bulletins are sent to over 7,000 subscribers to our site, who have signed up to be notified whenever we post a new story. That means that over 7,000 people can testify directly that Lester is talking nonsense," the website says.

Worked for Sarawak Report?

In a two-part video recording late last week and today, Lester claimed that documents obtained by whisteblower website Sarawak Report  on the beleaguered 1MDB had been tampered with as part of a conspiracy to taint and topple Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

He claimed he was privy to the information as he had once worked for  Sarawak Report  and had been asked to go through certain documents for publication. These documents were allegedly obtained from former PetroSaudi International executive Xavier Andre Justo.

At the centre of the controversy surrounding 1MDB are controversial deals involving both 1MDB and PetroSaudi International, about which Justo claimed he had inside information.

Lester claimed that the documents obtained from Justo were tampered with before they were published by  Sarawak Report.

 

Sarawak Report  editor-in-chief Clare Rewcastle Brown has denied that Lester worked for the website and dismissed the allegation of fabricating documents.

The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has since  blocked access  to Sarawak Report .

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