- The French-Malaysian Submarine Scandal: the Documents
- BN Threatening Public With Merdeka Theme
- Photos Show That Altantuya Was in France
Posted: 26 Jun 2012 12:44 AM PDT
The 133 official documents uploaded onto this website are from the Directorate-General of the French National Police and the Judicial Police Directorate's anti-organized and financial crimes unit.
They were presented to a French anti-corruption court in May and June of 2011. Taken together, they present –in French – the clearest picture to date of the two-decade campaign by the French state-owned defense manufacturer DCN and its subsidiaries to sell Scorpene submarines to the Malaysian Ministry of Defense.
Asia Sentinel's story summarizing what is in the documents is in a collection in Asia Sentinel’s Scribd account. They tell a story of corruption on both sides of the world that included – according to one presentation to the court – "blackmail, bribery, influence peddling, misuse of corporate assets and concealment." The documents show that many of these activities were carried out with the full knowledge if not connivance of top officials in both the French and Malaysian governments.
There is considerable doubt in Malaysia that these documents actually exist, and that the story of corruption was fabricated by the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition. Here is proof that they exist indeed. Readers who speak French may examine them at their leisure.
The documents were sent anonymously to Asia Sentinel because of our persistence in cataloguing the story of the submarines since October 2006, when Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian party girl and translator of sorts, was murdered in a patch of jungle near the suburban city of Shah Alam and her body was blown to bits with C4 explosives.
It subsequently became apparent that Altantuya had accompanied Abdul Razak Baginda, the head of Malaysian Strategic Services and a close associate of then-Defense Minister Najib Tun Razak, to Paris and Brest during final negotiations for the contract to train Malaysian sailors and to maintain the submarines once they arrived in Malaysia. Althought the documents indicate French authorities found no record that Altantuya had ever entered France, Asia Sentinel ran a series of pictures of her in Pars in front of the Louis Vuitton Paris shop, the Arc de Triomphe, the Cathedral of Notre Dame and other locations. The story and pictures, whjich ran on Dec. 5, 2007, can be found here:
Two of Najib's bodyguards – one of whom said in a formal statement that they were to be paid RM100,000 to kill the woman – were convicted of murder, but the courts carefully stayed away from identifying who had ordered her death.
The case eventually spread to France, where lawyers led by William Bourdon were engaged by the Malaysian NGO Suaram to attempt to get to the bottom of the case. Their efforts led French anti- corruption police to raid the offices of DCN and its subsidiaries. Thousands of documents were seized, along with computers and vast stores of documents and files. For the better part of two months, prosecutors detailed the evidence in a French courtroom. They will stay on the Asia Sentinel website as a public service for readers to compile their own evidence of a scandal that infected two governments.
Posted: 25 Jun 2012 11:13 PM PDT
The federal opposition has accused the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) of threatening the public with the "Janji Ditepati" (Promises Fulfilled) theme for this year's Merdeka celebrations.
"He doesn't care anymore," Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said, referring to the prime minister.
The PKR de facto leader added that "instead of a message of freedom that can be embraced by everyone" the ruling coalition chose a theme that "runs contrary to independence and instead threatens and fragments Malaysians."
DAP vice-chairman Tan Kok Wai also said the "anyone can tell it is an election slogan" that "fails to inspire people to unite".
"It should transcend party politics instead of being a BN slogan that tries to snare you in a net," the Cheras MP said.
Tan said the theme was 'an election slogan' that 'fails to inspire people to unite'.
The strategy appears to be geared towards winning approval for the BN coalition which lags far behind the prime minister's own popularity.
The Pekan MP received a 65 per cent approval rating in a Merdeka Center poll last month but his government only gained a 48 per cent approval in the survey done after the Bersih rally on April 28.
PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar pointed out that with this announcement, "it is certain elections won't be before September 16."
"This propaganda was started by the new Chief Secretary, who told civil servants not to believe the opposition's empty promises," he said, referring to Datuk Seri Ali Hamsa's statement on Sunday to the 1.4-million-strong public service.
"Merdeka should be about the freedom of the mind, and freedom from fear of change. Instead, the government is saying, if you change you will lose this and that," the Pokok Sena MP said.
Posted: 25 Jun 2012 10:08 PM PDT
While French police investigations have revealed that Altantuya Shaariibuu never entered France from 1999 to 2006, there are photographs of her taken in Paris published several years ago, that indicate otherwise.
A report on the French police investigations was carried by online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) in an article headlined ‘French probe: Altantuya never entered France’.
The report published yesterday was based on confidential investigative documents submitted to the French judicial inquiry that is looking into alleged kickbacks paid out in the 2002 Scorpene submarine deal between French firm DCNS and the Malaysian government.
However, in 2007, a series of photographs made available to Asia Sentinel by Syed Abdul Rahman Al-Habshi, the former honourary Mongolian consul-general in Malaysia, showed Altantuya “on the trip of her life to Europe”.
According to the Hong Kong-based news portal, Syed Abdul Rahman had then declined to say where the pictures came from.
They are believed to have been found among Altantuya’s possessions after she was killed, according to Asia Sentinel in an article headlined ‘Who was Altantuya Shaariibuu?’, written by John Berthelsen on Dec 5 of that year.
“If you go to the Asia Sentinel site, you will see pictures of her standing in front of a Louis Vuitton store, the Buddha Bar, Notre Dame Cathedral and a whole flock of other locations in Paris,” Berthelsen told Malaysiakini.
Berthelsen, a former Asian Wall Street Journal correspondent in Malaysia, also said Altantuya’s family had declined to elaborate on the photographs.
However, in April this year, Altantuya’s father Setev Shaariibuu told a press conference hosted by Suaram in Kuala Lumpur that his daughter’s visa to France was issued in Kuala Lumpur under the name “Amina Abdullah” and that she was supposed to enter Paris after flying to Germany.
Red flag on alleged Altantuya-Najib photo
The FMT report says the latest revelation from the French police investigation raises a red flag on the existence of a photograph of the Mongolian woman, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his close ally, Abdul Razak Baginda in Paris, allegedly taken between 2004 and 2006.
The alleged photograph was made known at the murder trial of Altantuya during the testimony of her cousin Burmaa Oyunchimeg, who had accompanied the Altantuya to Kuala Lumpur to purportedly extort money from Abdul Razak.
The photograph was not among Altantuya’s possessions after her body – blown into bits with C4 military explosives – was found in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam in October 2006.
Two police officers who were once bodyguards to Najib have been convicted of Altantuya’s murder and sentenced to death. They are now awaiting their appeal.
Abdul Razak (left) was also charged with abetment in Altantuya’s murder, but he was acquitted without being called to make his defence.
FMT reported that the French police investigation papers revealed that Najib – who was defence minister at that time – and Razak were on an official visit to Paris from June 16 to 18 in 2000.
Najib also visited France in July 2001, July 2003, June 2005 and October 2007 but it is possible that Najib and his entourage could have entered France through diplomatic channels, the FMT report said.
Officials of state-owned defence giant DCNS have also informed the French police that they never met a person named Altantuya and did not know who she was during the course of their negotiations for the Scorpene deal, the report said.
The confidential documents also raise questions about Altantuya’s role as a translator for the deal since the DCNS officials had also informed the French police that negotiations for the submarines were done in Malaysia, not in France.
“One official – DCNS former sales manager in Malaysia, Fredric Faura – told the French investigators that the negotiations were conducted in English, not in French, so there is no need for an interpreter,” FMT added in its report.
“Furthermore, Altantuya did not speak French, so she could not have acted as an English-French interpreter.”
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