BANGKOK – A Swiss man convicted of blackmail linked to a Malaysian development fund scandal has been freed after serving over a year in a Thai prison.
Xavier Justo was one of around 30,000 inmates released early under a pardon by Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradevarangkun to mark his ascension to the throne on Dec. 1. Justo's lawyer said the man will be deported to Switzerland.
Justo was convicted in August 2015 of blackmailing his former employer, a Saudi oil company, by threatening to sell to the media documents related to the company's dealings with 1MDB unless the company paid him $2.47 million.
After some documents were published, the 1MDB fund became the focus of investigations in the U.S., Switzerland, Singapore, and elsewhere over allegations of embezzlement and money laundering.