Defiant Pannika dares PM to sue over her allegation of Government involvement in Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal
Former spokeswoman for the now defunct Future Forward party, Pannika Wanich, has challenged Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to file a personal defamation claim against her for implicating him in the previous administration’s alleged assistance in the cover-up of Malaysia’s multi-billion dollar 1MDB scandal.
The Royal Thai Police (RTP) is to explore the possibility of taking legal action against Ms. Pannika for the allegations she made during a non-parliamentary debate against the Government on Sunday.
RTP spokesman Pol Lt-Gen Piya Uthayo said that the previous government and several public agencies were implicated by Ms. Pannika.
Showing up at parliament this afternoon, to observe the censure debate, Ms. Pannika told the media that she made the allegations with the intention of demanding that the Government publically clarify the issue, to demonstrate its sincerity, only to be threatened with a lawsuit.
She said, however, that she is not afraid and she challenged the Prime Minister to take her to court personally, instead of instructing government agencies to do so on his behalf.
The outspoken former spokeswoman claimed that her exposure of the Government’s alleged involvement, in helping to cover up the 1MDB scandal, was not revenge for her party’s dissolution by the Constitutional Court.
During her non-parliamentary debate, Pannika accused the Prime Minister of silencing a key witness in the scandal and assisting a key suspect in the case, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The key witness was identified as Xavier Justo, a former executive of Petro Saudi, a company which helped launder 1MDB funds. Pannika accused the Thai police of protecting Xavier who, according to the Financial Times, was sentenced to three years in a Thai prison in 2016 for blackmail.
Xavier entered into a plea bargain by confessing to spare himself from being extradited to Switzerland to stand trial.