The Swiss authorities have said that they “regret” Thailand’s decision not to extradite Swiss national and former PetroSaudi International employee Xavier Andre Justo.
“The (Switzerland) Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has taken note with regret of the decision of the responsible Thai authorities regarding the transfer request.
“The FDFA accords top priority to the security and integrity of the Swiss citizen and will continue to monitor the case closely and actively,” the department said, as reported by The Malay Mail Online yesterday.
However, they also said that they have yet to be officially informed about the transfer refusal from the Thai authorities.
The department said they had made every effort to negotiate with Thai authorities and they also expressed disapproval over Thailand’s recent action.
“The FDFA took steps at various levels prior to the decision,” they said.
Previously, Thai Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Koomchaya said that their decision regarding Justo was made “in accordance with Thai law”.
He also said that under the country’s law, anyone requesting to transfer the remainder of his jail sentence must have “not less than one year” left in his jail term.
“But the remainder of the jail term of this prisoner (Justo) is nine months, which did not meet the transfer (of prisoner) treaty law. Thus, the decision to deny the request.
“This law does not discriminate against anyone, and is effective for every prisoner who is eligible for the transfer. The Correctional Department’s decision is in accordance with the rule of law,” he had said.
Justo pleaded guilty on Aug 17 last year to attempting to blackmail PetroSaudi International, which had dealings with 1MDB.
The court ordered the jail term to start on June 22, the day Justo was arrested at Koh Samui resort island in southern Thailand.
He was charged under Section 338 of the Thai Penal Code which carries a jail term of one to 10 years and a fine of between 2,000 baht (RM222) and 20,000 baht (RM2,223).