French show interest in Razak Baginda during Bala interview

By Shannon Teoh. The Malaysian Insider

LONDON, July 15 — Despite being acquitted of the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shariibuu, Abdul Razak Baginda may yet be haunted by the saga centred around the RM7 billion purchase of Scorpene submarines from French company DCN.

Even though his former private investigator, P. Balasubramaniam, claimed Abdul Razak was innocent of the murder, French authorities are keen to examine the political analyst’s role.

Balasubramaniam (picture), who was hired by Abdul Razak in October 2006 when Shariibuu began harassing him for money, spent a substantial portion of a three-hour-long interview with French police detailing his former client’s involvement in the affair.

The interview, held on Monday in Paris, is part of investigations into alleged irregularities in the payment of RM570 million to Perimekar, a company owned by Abdul Razak, for what the Malaysian government calls “co-ordination and support services” in clinching the submarine deal.

In the course of the interview, two new names also surfaced — Malaysians identified as Major Rahim and Abdul Rahim bin Saad.

A statement released by Balasubramaniam after the interview said that the investigators wanted to know the identity of the two Malaysians, their background and involvement in the matter.

But the private eye did not detail what, if any, information on the two Rahims he divulged, or if he knew them at all.

Balasubramaniam had, however, talked about Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, the two police officers convicted of Shariibuu’s murder who were also part of then-Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s security detail and other people who were around when the Mongolian disappeared on the night of her death.