Malaysia

French court wants Razak Baginda as witness in Scorpene kickback probe

April 20, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — Human rights group Suaram has successfully filed an official complaint with a Paris tribunal over allegations French giant DCNS gave kickbacks to the Malaysian government for the controversial sale of two Scorpene submarines.

Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, a one-time adviser to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is also believed to head a list of witnesses who have been asked to testify in an ongoing French probe at the Tribunal Grande instance de Paris, PKR lawmaker Chua Tian Chang told The Malaysian Insider.

Abdul Razak is now living in the UK. — Reuters picAbdul Razak is now living in the UK. — Reuters picThe list was submitted by Suaram.

Lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, who is currently in the French capital, told The Malaysian Insider that she and two other Suaram activists, Cynthia Gabriel and Kua Kia Soong, met with the investigative judge, Roger Le loire, at the Tribunal Grand Instance at 3pm French time yesterday.

“The complaint is on the illegal commission paid re: the purchase of two submarines,” Fadiah said in a series of text messages late last night.

“We briefed the judge [on] the political context of the case. How the issue of commission was never dealt with in altantuya murder trial. N how msian justice system has failed msian taxpayers as they failed to resolve the issue of corruption re the purchasr of the submarines [sic],” she said.

She added that Suaram will be issuing a statement later.

The purchase, made while Najib headed the Defence Ministry, has been linked by human rights groups and opposition parties to the 2006 murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Recent media reports have pinned Najib to the RM7.3 billion Scorpene submarine deal by French authorities.

According to Chua, the French court had asked for Abdul Razak’s address as it wants to subpoena him as a witness in the trial. He is believed to be based in the UK now.

Altantuya’s alleged one-time lover Abdul Razak was acquitted of a charge of abetting two Special Action Squad members — Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar — to commit the murder in 2006.

Last week, Altantuya’s father Dr Setev Shaariibuu told a press conference in Petaling Jaya that he had offered himself as a witness in the Scorpene submarine probe, claiming that his testimony would be able to “connect the dots” between her death and the Scorpene” case.