I was astonished to view an article at the “Sarawak Report” yesterday claiming that I am a rentable agent of a foreign corporate entity.  I have heard lots of bogus claims in my many years as a freelance journalist, but this tops them.

I would like to thank Ms. Clare Rewcastle-Brown for her ‘compliments’, but with all due respect to her and her team, my wife and I have a track record for over 5 years writing our blog, and we work for no one.

Contrary to Sarawak’s dubious claims about exclusivity, we were the first to publish about the leak website, and she admits she learned about it from our blog. Her claim over what she says is “exclusive” is essentially a reprint of the work we’ve already conducted over the past few months.  It was our breaking news, and she should retract her claim unless she has proof otherwise.

As for Mr. Xavier Justo, I explained to him why we had to publish this piece and offered him to send a written response which I promised to publish as-is. My offer still stands.

As for allegations that we are a hired gun of any party: It is ridiculous. Period. In the last 5 years we never wrote about 1MDB, nor have been paid by any party of this scandal.  The statement made by Sarawak is libelous, defamatory, and injurious to our reputation.  We demand an immediate retraction, apology from the Sarawak report, and reserve all rights to ameliorate the damage done to our good name.

To clarify: I did tell Mr. Justo in our last call interview that I suspect we were potentially hacked and compromised by the very subjects of our investigation, and he said he wouldn’t be surprised. Now we feel particularly vulnerable as they probably took all of our research, materials, papers and voice recordings of interviews with Justo and others.  We did learn from our previous investigations to keep our sources list separate and encrypted. At least their identities are protected.

We are in full favor of digging this story to its bear truth, and all sides have to answer serious questions.  The digs, false claims, and scurrilous insults brought forth by the Sarawak Report are of the most mendacious variety: Other journalists trying to take credit for OUR work. 

We call on anyone that can contribute to our story to come forward, not to belittle their fellow colleagues in the same profession.