(Malaysiakini) - The presence of Rosmah Mansor, wife of premier Najib Razak, at the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder appeared “implausible”, according to a United States diplomat in a secret cable sent to Washington three years ago.
The diplomatic cable was dispatched by the United States embassy in Kuala Lumpur two weeks after controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin pledged in a statutory declaration that Rosmah was at the scene of the October 2006 murder of the Mongolian woman.
However, while the allegations against Rosmah “seem implausible”, the cable said that it would “nevertheless will have resonance with a Malaysian public that does not have confidence in the integrity of the Altantuya murder investigation.”
It also said that the continued public attention to such allegations also could damage Najib's chances, who was then deputy prime minister, of replacing Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the country's new leader.
On June 18, Raja Petra has sworn that he was "reliably informed" that Rosmah, together with her aide Norhayati Hassan and acting Colonel Aziz Buyong - who is Norhayati's husband - were present at the scene of the sensational murder.
The sworn statement came at a time of heightened political tensions in Malaysia where talk was rife over a possible change in government on Sept 16, 2008, through a mass defection of government MPs.
Two weeks after Raja Petra's revelations, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, an aide to Anwar Ibrahim, lodged a police report claiming that he had been sodomised by the opposition politician.
Soon after, on Aug 26, Anwar returned to active politics after winning a by-election in Permatang Puah, a parliamentary seat which was vacated by his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
However, Anwar's vow to take over Putrajaya fell flat when not a single BN parliamentarian changed sides.
RPK put himself at great risk
According to the leaked cable, political observers had remarked that Raja Petra had “put himself at great risk, and therefore they speculated that he must have some evidence in hand.”
“If this is a bluff, 'it will cost him and his family,' one MP remarked,” added the confidential cable.
Raja Petra was eventually charged with defaming Rosmah, Norhayati and Abdul Aziz on July 17, 2008.
The blogger subsequently fled the country along with his wife, Marina, and both are living in United Kingdom (left).
In 2009, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court granted Raja Petra a discharge not amounting to an acquittal because the police could not trace him to serve the warrant of arrest.
In a TV3 interview in April this year, Raja Petra said that the accusations were based on information given by former deputy army special branch chief Kol Azmi Zainal Abidin.
The US cable said that most Malaysians would believe there was at least some truth in Raja Petra's allegations as they have no confidence in the integrity of the government's investigation into the Altantuya murder.