SINGAPORE: Whistleblower Xavier Andre Justo has received RM8.2 million (US$2 million) from the chairman of The Edge Media Group for helping to expose the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
According to a report in the Edge, Justo met with chairman Tong Kooi Ong and CEO and group publisher Ho Kay Tat at The Edge Media Group's office in Malaysia on Thursday (Jan 31).
Tong said in the report that the "gift" to the Swiss national was "in appreciation of his contribution to Malaysia in helping to expose the kleptocracy of the past government".
READ: Straits Times responds after 1MDB whistleblower Xavier Justo alleges 2015 interview was scripted
He added that without Justo, the 1MDB scandal would not have come to light.
Also present at the meeting on Thursday was Justo's wife and four-year-old son.
Justo was a former employee of PetroSaudi International and had provided information to the Edge and the Sarawak Report regarding the billions that were stolen from 1MDB under a joint venture with PetroSaudi International between 2009 and 2011.
Justo was sentenced to three years' jail in Thailand in 2015 on charges of blackmailing PetroSaudi but was later given a royal pardon, which commuted his sentence by one-third.
In the report, Justo also confirmed with Tong that the accusation that he stole data from his former employer was untrue.
Tong added that his lawyers tried to contact PetroSaudi on their "past claims" but they have "chosen repeatedly not to respond".
Tong said: "His family was harassed and intimidated while he was languishing in jail. No one should have to go through what he had to endure for helping to reveal the truth."
The Edge article also quoted Justo as saying: "I would like to say thank you to Tong. The gift from him will go a long way in helping me and my family rebuild our lives."
Several individuals, including former Malaysian prime minister and 1MDB founder Najib Razak, have been charged in connection with the scandal involving the state fund, where the US Department of Justice had said that US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from.