Former KL CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim says that the prime minister should challenge the statutory declaration made by PI Bala that linked him to Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Teoh El Sen, FMT
The government should challenge the veracity of the statutory declaration (SD) by former private investigator P Balasubramaniam, which had implicated Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, said the former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim.
Mat Zain said that based on the first SD that Balasubramaniam made on July 3, 2008, it can be concluded that not only did Najib know and meet Altantuya, but also had an intimate relationship with the slain Mogolian national.
In an open letter sent to the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar, with a copy sent to Najib, Mat Zain stressed that this SD would affect the prime minister’s credibility, saying: “As long as the validity of Bala’s SD is not challenged in court, his statement can still be regarded as true.”
He noted that the Federal Court itself had decided in a case in 1996 that if assertions in an affidavit is not challenged, the assertion must be recognised as true.
The retired policeman said that a denial through the media or Najib’s swearing over the Quran was not enough as they do not affect the validity of the first SD.
“It is now up to Najib whether to challenge the SD in court or to ignore it and admit that whatever that Bala had stressed in the first SD, including the [allegation of the] relationship between Najib and Altantuya is true,” he said.
He said that Abdul Razak Baginda, who was charged with Altantuya’s murder, was spared the gallows just because the public prosecutor had refused to challenge the former’s affidavit.
“If Balasubramaniam’s SD was tested against Razak Baginda’s affidavit, there is a possibilty that Razak’s affidavit might contain false assertions.
‘New statements raised doubts’
“Based on the new statements that are coming out on the Scorpene corruption hearing in Paris, there have been doubts raised on the veracity of both Balasubramaniam and Razak’s SD, especially on their claims regarding Altantuya,” he said.
In July 2008, Balasubramaniam came up with the SD linking Najib to Altantuya.
The latter had been murdered in October 2006, with her remains destroyed by C-4 explosives. She was allegedly linked to local political analyst Abdul Razak, who was close to Najib. Abdul Razak was charged with the murder with two other policemen, but the former was acquitted while the latter were convicted.
Balasubramaniam retracted this SD the very next day in a second SD, and fled the country soon after.
Recently, Balasubramaniam claimed that he was threatened to sign this second SD and was promised RM5 million to do so. He claimed that the first SD was true.
There was a further claim by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin that Balasubramaniam was asked to come up with a third SD by an Umno man .
Meanwhile, Mat Zain said that Balasubramaniam should be charged with making a false statement in the second SD, as he had admitted to it and it is clearly stated in Section 193 of the Penal Code that it is a crime, regardless of whether the SD was to be used in court.
“The explanation by the Attorney-General Abdul Gani Pattail that it is only an offence if the purpose is to be used in court is confusing and misleading, because in the law books, the only difference is that if a false SD was made for court purposes, the punishment is seven years and for other purposes the offender can be punished up to three years. It is still a criminal offence,” he said.
He said that the policemen, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar, who are awaiting their sentence over the murder of Altantuya, should be punished if they were really wrong.