BN strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan has launched a salvo against The Edge Media Group owner Tong Kooi Ong for claiming that Xavier Andre Justo was misled about payment in order to secure evidence.
"If The Edge can cheat a known sleek criminal like Justo, I won't be surprised if they could cheat ordinary Malaysians just as well.
"Yes, news organisations worth their salt wouldn't pay for information but they are also expected not to cheat to get the information. Otherwise, their reputation is also at stake when they cheat to steal stolen information," Rahman said in a Facebook post.
Given what has been revealed so far, Rahman argued that what The Edge was saying cannot be taken at face value.
He noted that while The Edge said the stolen documents were not tampered with at all, international computer forensic experts as well as Thai authorities have claimed otherwise.
"It is a shame that The Edge did not come out clean from the beginning. Only after Justo started to sing like a canary, they tried to cover their acts.
"What an honourable news organisation should have done was to publish the stolen information and immediately declare how they got the information.
"Unfortunately, The Edge did not do so. They misled Malaysians into thinking they obtained the information honourably from a reliable source," Rahman said.
Following this, he said The Edge "milked the story for a few months for political purposes" while hoping no one would know who Justo was.
"Now, in their desperation, they said publishing stolen and suspect information was the most honourable thing to do.
"Don't try to wiggle your way out of this by claiming (that you are) being honourable.
"( The Edge publisher) Ho (Kay Tat) and Tong, remember, there is no honour among crooks," he added.
Rahman was responding to Tong's ( photo ) statement on Justo's claims that he was not paid for the information disclosed on the PetroSaudi International-1MDB joint venture.
Justo, a former executive of PetroSaudi, is being detained in Thailand for attempting to blackmail the firm with the stolen documents.
He is also the source of the leaked documents and email communiques.
In an exclusive interview with the Singapore Straits Times , Justo claimed that he was not paid as agreed and that he was told of plans to tamper with the documents.
Tong has denied both the tampering allegation and claims of a plot to topple the government.