Posts Tagged ‘Altantuya

29
Nov
16

Ten Years on, Altantuya’s Murder Remains Unexplained in Malaysia

Ten Years on, Mongolian Beauty’s Murder Remains Unexplained in Malaysia

It will soon be 10 years since Altantuya Shaariibuu, a jet-setting Mongolian translator and party girl, was murdered sensationally in a patch of jungle outside the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Petaling Jaya on the night of Oct. 19, 2006. Although two elite policemen were convicted of killing her, the party who ordered her execution has never been identified and justice remains unfulfilled.

The 28-year-old beauty’s death has connections to one of the biggest scandals in Malaysian history although that scandal has since been superseded by another that dwarfs it – the disappearance of as much as US$7 billion, lost from the state-backed 1Malaysia Development Bhd. Investment fund.

Both of those scandals can be laid directly on the doorstep of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The death of Altantuya Shaariibuu also has disturbingly close relations to the Prime Minister, through the people who killed her.

At the time of her death, Altantuya had just been jilted abruptly by a prominent defense consultant and Najib’s close friend, the married Abdul Razak Baginda, after accompanying him to France in the later stages of an agreement by the French defense giant DCN to sell two Scorpene submarines to Malaysia for US$1 billion. Najib is widely believed to have been along on the trip.

French prosecutors have alleged that €114 million in kickbacks were routed to the United Malays National Organization, the country’s leading political party, through a company called Perimekar that Razak Baginda had established just prior to the transaction. Another €28 million was routed to a Hong Kong-based company called Terasasi Ltd. whose principal officers were Razak Baginda and his father. Two French officials have been charged in court with bribing Najib, who was defense minister when the Scorpene transaction took place.

According to the documents obtained by Asia Sentinel, the money was passed on with the knowledge of then-French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and then-Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. French officials identified Altantuya as a translator during the final preparations between the two governments to hand over the vessels to Malaysia. A French official later paid for a trip by Razak Baginda and Altantuya to Macau on holiday.

According to a sworn statement by the late private investigator Perumal Balasubraniam, Razak Baginda told him he had in effect inherited Altantuya from Najib himself. According to Bala’s statement, Najib at the time was defense minister and expected to become prime minister – and a Mongolian beauty and mistress wouldn’t have looked good.

Altatantuya acknowledged in an undelivered letter found in her hotel room after her death that she had demanded US$500,000 from Razak Baginda in “blackmail” although she didn’t say what the blackmail threat referred to — her threats against the family or possibly her knowledge of the Scorpene transaction.

The true identity of the persons who ordered the woman’s gruesome death – shot twice in the head, and then her body, believed to be carrying an unborn child, was blown up with military explosives – has never been learned. The destruction of her body is believed to have been an attempt to demolish the fetus’s DNA. Although Najib’s aide-de-camp at the time, Musa Safri, was the man contacted by Razak Baginda to “do something about her,” according to Razak’s statement taken directly after her mangled remains were discovered, Musa was never either questioned by police or called as a witness.

At the time of Altantuya’s death, the two killers, Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar and Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, were members of the elite Unit Tindakan Khas (the Malaysian Police Special Action Force) that protected Malaysia’s top leaders, including Najib, the man who ordered the purchase of the submarines.

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Ten Years on, Mongolian Beauty’s Murder Remains Unexplained in Malaysia
October 17, 2016 – Asia Sentinel

04
Apr
16

State of Fear – The Four Corners documentary

Four Corners reporter Linton Besser investigates two sets of extraordinary allegations of bribery and corruption: one involving a massive arms deal; the other, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. It’s a story that’s made headlines around the world.

“Hello Mr Prime Minister, ABC Australia. I’m wondering if you can explain the hundreds of millions of dollars in your account?”

Linton Besser’s pointed questions landed him and cameraman Louie Eroglu in serious trouble.

“I’ve been placed under arrest …we are waiting for some legal advice but at the moment it looks like they intend to charge us.”

On Monday night Four Corners will reveal new allegations about the staggering sums of money that have flowed into the bank accounts of Najib Razak.

And as the scandal grows, so does the crackdown on the Malaysian Government’s political opponents.

“They’re just threatening people now and it’s very effective.”

State of Fear
By Linton Besser, Jaya Balendra, Elise Worthington
28 March 2016 – Four Corners, ABC

08
Feb
16

Troubles resurface for Malaysia’s Najib in Europe

A case involving allegations of high-level bribery, blackmail, betrayal and the murder of a glamorous Mongolian socialite in Malaysia has resurfaced in France, only days after Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak was cleared of corruption charges at home.

French prosecutors have charged a French businessman involved in Malaysia’s $US2 billion ($2.8 billion) purchase of two French-Spanish built submarines with paying illegal kickbacks to a Malaysian official linked to Mr Najib, according to the French newsagency AFP.

Mr Najib, who was defence minister at the time of the purchase, has denied any wrongdoing but the case has been the subject of hot rumours and speculation in Malaysia’s social media during his seven-year rule.

The French report named Ferrari-driving Malaysian businessman Abdul Razak Baginda, one of Mr Najib’s best friends and policy advisers, as the person who allegedly received the kickbacks.

While the submarine deal was being negotiated, Mr Baginda was the lover of 28-year-old Mongolian socialite Altantuya Shaariibuu who was murdered by two of Mr Najib’s bodyguards in a patch of jungle in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur in 2006.

Ms Shaariibuu was dragged from a car, knocked unconscious and shot twice in the head, according to court testimony.

She had begged for the life of her unborn baby and then her body was wrapped in C4 explosives and blown up, ensuring the fetus was destroyed, along with the identity of the father.

Ms Shaariibuu, who was abducted outside Mr Baginda’s house, had reportedly demanded $US500,000 to remain silent about her knowledge of the submarine deal.

French authorities who opened an investigation into the submarine purchases almost four years ago have issued an indictment against Bernard Baiocco, 72, the former president of Thales International Asia, according to an AFP report in the French language, that was translated by the Malaysiakini news website.

In 2008 a Malaysian judge sensationally dropped a charge of abetting murder against Mr Baginda, even before any evidence was heard at his trial.

Lawyers expect Mr Baginda will be called to testify at a French hearing.

“We feel very encouraged and happy to hear the case has moved forward and that French investigators have arrived on a very important finding and a key French official has been formally indicted,” Cynthia Gabriel from the Malaysian human rights organisation Suaram was quoted as telling Malaysiakini.

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Troubles resurface for Malaysia’s Najib in Europe
January 30, 2016 – Sydney Morning Herald

06
Feb
16

RM137 million Scorpene consultation fees?

I got €30 million, Razak Baginda says over Scorpene consultation fees

Abdul Razak Baginda, the political analyst acquitted of abetting in the 2006 murder of Mongolian citizen Altantuya Shaariibuu, said he received €30 million (RM137 million) as consultation fee in Malaysia’s purchase of two Scorpene submarines from France, the Financial Times (FT) reports.

“It was a legitimate agreement. I did my job and I got paid for it. And I never paid any official,” the former aide of Datuk Seri Najib Razak was quoted by FT as saying, adding that the deal’s execution spanned eight years.

Najib was defence minister at the time of the US$1.2 billion arms deal, which has been riddled with allegations of corruption and kickbacks.

Razak’s confirmation comes as French prosecutors launched a formal probe into Najib, a week after it opened a case against Bernard Baiocco, the former president of Thales International Asia, who together with another French defence firm DCNS, had sold the submarines to Malaysia.

The French investigation centres around allegations that Baiocco paid kickbacks to Najib through Razak.

Baiocco’s lawyer Jean-Yves Le Borgne confirmed to FT that Razak got payment for lobbying work in the US$1.2 billion arms deals, but denied it was corruption, adding that prosecutors had no proof to show Najib received the payment.

The French probe comes hot on the heels of the Swiss attorney-general’s request for assistance from Malaysia, after its probe into transactions linked to troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) revealed that some RM4 billion involving Malaysian government companies was misappropriated.

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I got €30 million, Razak Baginda says over Scorpene consultation fees
5 February 2016 – TMI

10
Jun
15

Have RCI to find out motive behind Altantuya murder

Have RCI to find out motive behind Altantuya murder, DAP tells Najib

Instead of clearing his name over the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu through a website post, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to find who ordered the death of the Mongolian interpreter, DAP’s parliamentary leader said.

Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang said Najib should not prolong the setting up of the RCI any longer, and that it should include a probe into why authorities, including the police, the attorney-general and the judiciary had not looked into the motive of the murder.

“If Najib is really concerned about ensuring justice for himself and the country’s institutions, particularly the rule of law and his credibility and reputation over Altantutya’s murder, he should not delay any further but should immediately set up an RCI,” Lim said in a statement today.

The DAP stalwart was responding to Najib’s recent blog posting, in which the prime minister had said that it was “unfair” to force him to re-open the Altantuya case, especially since the judicial process had been exhausted.

“It is unfair to force me to investigate this case again and demand to know who, if anyone, had ordered the killing,” he said.

“I am not involved and do not know anything about it. The court has determined who was guilty of the murder. That should be the end of the story.

“Despite the court’s lengthy deliberation and judgement, the ample time given to the appellants to have their case heard and judged, my ‘sumpah laknat’, the repeated denials I have made, the public explanations provided by Abdul Razak Baginda, some people continue to question the issue and keep trying to implicate me.”

“Sumpah laknat” is the Malay term for a sworn oath recited in a mosque.

Razak, a political analyst who was Najib’s confidante at the time, was acquitted of abetting Altantuya’s murder in 2006.

But? former police commandos Sirul Azhar Umar and Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri were found guilty by the Federal Court after a final round of appeal and sentenced to death.

Sirul, who escaped to Australia where he is being held in detention, said that he was under orders to kill Altantuya.

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Have RCI to find out motive behind Altantuya murder, DAP tells Najib
19 May 2015 – TMI

23
May
15

Najib’s FAQ answers what was not asked

He avoids addressing Sirul’s claim by saying that Dr M should’ve asked his Altantuya questions eight years ago.

COMMENT

At last, we know one thing for sure about Najib. He wants a fight, and he realises that if he is to win, he must answer, refute, and discredit Mahathir Mohamad. The Prime Minister has taken his counter attack to a brave level, releasing a FAQ on his website that seemingly addresses the questions raised by Mahathir. Politically, this is a move he should have made long ago, and perhaps in a public forum.

However, his statements on the Altantuya issue ring somewhat hollow, especially his thinly-veiled jab at Mahathir. It must be seen to be believed. The relevant section reads: “Such influential individuals (Mahathir) have many resources. When the issue erupted, I believe they would still have been able to verify the validity of the allegations. If they believed this to be true, why did they not raise it when the issue erupted eight years ago? Why now?”

The rest is Najib’s mantra on taking a solemn oath, having his name cleared by Pak Lah, who was the Prime Minister at the time, and so on and so forth. Nothing we haven’t heard before, and nothing we won’t ever hear again.

For one thing, Mr Prime Minister, no one is saying that you were the sinister, unseen hand behind the murder of Altantuya. Mahathir is simply asking that the claims of Sirul Azhar be investigated, and that is a reasonable request indeed, considering that Sirul was an elite police officer, and insubordination, let alone the premeditated, brutal murder of a young woman, is not part of the training of any country’s elite police personnel.

Unless Najib is indirectly telling us that our entire elite police force is composed of highly trained possible murderers who could snap at any time and murder someone with C4 explosives, Sirul’s claim that there were higher powers pulling the strings is alarming. It seems only fitting that Najib, as the highest power in the land, would want to investigate the claim. At a time when public confidence in his administration is at an all time low, it would be reassuring to know that the Prime Minister would not allow anyone, even if he is among the high-powered, to escape the long arm of the law.

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Najib’s FAQ answers what was not asked
May 19, 2015 – FMT

06
May
15

The true reason behind Malaysia’s travails

After six decades in power, sins of corruption, arrogance and greed block answers to one simple murder

COMMENT

What is that one singular thread that can perhaps best explain the current political situation where Malaysia’s heart-rate is missing a few beats?

To honestly and courageously answer that question we must remove the colored or tinted lens of political patronage and party allegiance that we wear; put aside all self interest for the moment; and do not even court for a second the fear of losing political power.

Is Malaysia not caught in the cruel fangs of long years of corruption and layers of arrogance and bottomless greed?

Take the Altantuya murder. This was not a straight forward murder. Otherwise why is Sirul holed away in Australia? Otherwise why does the prime minister have to go on air with a pre-recorded and trimmed interview in response to the pounce made by Tun Mahathir, eight long years after the gruesome killing?

Yes the court delivered a verdict, but the case never died, never faded from the court of public opinion despite stern warnings from the top-most policeman of the country.

Why? Because it is no ordinary straight forward case! Razak Baginda, do you hear this?

Instead, today we have to listen to so many individuals coming forward to clear the prime minister’s name. Why? Because it is no straight forward case and the answers are not convincing either.

In fact public perception is refusing to sway an inch in favour of the prime minsiter. Do his supporters realise that, too?

Why is it so difficult to pin down this case unlike so many mystery murders solved in the past?

While we pause to reflect, consider the 1MDB case.

It is unbelievable that so many people are rushing to defend the prime minister. Why? Because this, too, does not have any straight answers and is getting more complicated with every expose.

Come to think of it, would Tun Daim, Tun Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh and Tun Dr Mahathir himself risk their reputations by getting their concerns finally registered in the public domain?

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The true reason behind Malaysia’s travails
April 11, 2015 – FMT




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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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