Public sees Najib as guilty in Scorpene deal, says Pakatan

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders today warned Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the move to deport French lawyer William Bourdon last night has only confirmed his guilt in the eyes of the public.

They told the prime minister that chasing Bourdon out of Malaysia would not absolve him of blame but, instead, would resurrect the ghost of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu.

Altantuya, who was killed in 2006 and blown up with C4 explosives, has been linked to the government’s controversial RM7 billion Scorpene submarines purchase from French defence company DCNS which is now under probe in France. The purchase was made while Najib headed the Defence Ministry.

Bourdon, who is handling the case in France, was held by immigration officers yesterday morning upon landing at the KLIA in Sepang from Penang where he had briefed an audience on the progress of the probe.

“This strange move would only fuel public suspicion that something is terribly amiss in the Scorpene case… which, of course, is linked to Altantuya’s case.

“Instead of coming clean, he (Najib) is trying to cover up the matter. Everyone knows that Bourdon will be in the country to explain the progress of the case, that he is trying to prise open the layers of secrets surrounding the Scorpene deal, which is related to the murder case,” said DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.

Lim pointed out that Malaysians were already aware of the RM540 million in commission for the submarine deal paid to Perimeker Sdn Bhd, a company run by Abdul Razak Baginda, and are now demanding answers if the sum was paid as “corruption money”.

Abdul Razak, who was tried for abetting in Altantuya’s murder but was later acquitted, was said to be Najib’s close aide when the deal was made in 2002.

“Najib has committed himself to fighting corruption so this RM540 million must be subject to a public audit. Was it justifiable? How was it spent? All these details must be scrutinised via an independent public inquiry so that Malaysians will know whether it was a genuine above-board deal,” said Lim.

He castigated the prime minister for failing to address the matter and said that the government should not wait to be exposed in a foreign country but should initiate its own proceedings.

“The French prosecution is trying to decide if there is a case to go to trial but why wait? Najib has the responsibility to answer to Malaysians. Establish a commission and give the full details of the procurement,” said Lim.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar agreed with Lim that Bourdon’s deportation last night would return soon to haunt the Najib administration.

She however warned that any information revealed in the French courts would eventually reach Malaysia and could not be swept under the carpet.

“They (Najib administration) prefer to sweet dirt under the carpet… deport possible whistleblowers and gag such exposes through their control over the mainstream media. The fact that information is globally obtainable stops them dead in their tracks,” she told The Malaysian Insider via SMS today.