Posts Tagged ‘Scorpene

01
Dec
16

Second high-ranking officer indicted in Scorpene subs probe

Second high-ranking officer indicted in Scorpene subs probe

Another high-ranking French official, allegedly active in corrupt activities, has been indicted over the Scorpene submarine investigation in Paris.

In a joint statement sighted by Malaysiakini, Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy and Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel said Dominique Castellan is the officer indicted over the submarine probe.

Castellan is the former CEO of DCN International (DCNI), a mega shipbuilder.

His indictment was linked to Contract C5 between DCNI and Thint Asia in 2000, and the consultancy contract between Thint Asia and Terasasi Sdn Bhd, said the NGOs.

The contract allegedly involved 30 million euro transferred to Terasasi Hong Kong in November 2002, the NGO activists noted.

This is allegedly in relation to Malaysia’s purchase of two Scorpene-class submarines in 2002, when Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who was then the deputy prime minister, also helmed the defence ministry.

The RM3.7 billion (1.035 billion euro) deal was inked on June 5, 2002, between Malaysia and DCNI.

“This will put the French probe into the spotlight again,” Sevan and Cynthia said in their statement.

They said the notification of the indictment was issued by examining magistrate Roger LeLoire on March 1.

They noted that Castellan had denied signing on to the 30 million euro contract with Terasasi on behalf of DCNI.

Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda (photo), a close ally of Najib, was allegedly the chief negotiator in the Scorpene submarine deal.

He was allegedly the beneficiary of Terasasi Hong Kong, in joint shareholding stakes with his father.

Razak Baginda had previously admitted to have received the 30 million euro but insisted it was a legitimate payment for consultancy work.

“The indictment of Castellan, now sheds new suspicion on this contract,” Sevan and Cynthia said.

…more
Second high-ranking officer indicted in Scorpene subs probe
1 Nov 2016 – malaysiakini

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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.

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

17
Aug
13

Has Suaram done wrong in seeking the truth?

According to Suaram secretariat member Cynthia Gabriel, who on August 5 was served with a police summons, the investigation is connected to the dinner the NGO held on July 19 to raise funds for Suaram’s ongoing corruption suit in France.

What wrong has Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) committed for the Government to hound it so doggedly? Why is it now being investigated under the Sedition Act, the act that has been getting a noxious name of late for the fact that numerous people have been charged under it for apparently displeasing the Government?

According to Suaram secretariat member Cynthia Gabriel, who on August 5 was served with a police summons, the investigation is connected to the dinner the NGO held on July 19 to raise funds for Suaram’s ongoing corruption suit in France.

In the suit, Suaram claims that when French naval defence firm DCNS sold two Scorpene submarines to Malaysia in 2002, it allegedly paid RM452 million in illegal commissions to Perimekar Sdn Bhd, a company partly owned by Abdul Razak Baginda, who was charged with the 2006 murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu but was subsequently acquitted.

Rightly or not, the murder came to be linked to the Scorpene deal. And as Razak Baginda was closely associated with Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was the defence minister at the time the Scorpene deal was struck – and who, according to a document found by French prosecutors, allegedly demanded that RM1 billion be paid to Perimekar by DCNS before it could meet with him – Najib is also implicated, again whether rightly or not.

Of course if Najib was not involved, he would surely want the truth to be known. He might even call for investigations to be conducted by our own Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). After all, isn’t such a case of great interest to the Malaysian public?

But has there been any move made by the MACC to investigate the matter?

In June 2012, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo asked in Parliament if the MACC had taken any initiatives since the case was undergoing inquiry by magistrates in France and the information about alleged kickbacks was also “known to the MACC”. But all that he got from the then deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong was: “At this point, I can only say that these issues are being considered by the MACC.”

“Being considered”. After so long, a case that had been impressed on the national consciousness was only “being considered”. Well, it has been a year already since Liew said that. What is the status of that consideration now?

Meanwhile, why is the Government trying to discredit Suaram and its efforts to seek the truth? As we know, this current police summons to Gabriel is not the first time in recent memory that the Government is making things hard for Suaram. As she herself puts it, “Round two of Suaram harassment has begun.”

…more
Has Suaram done wrong in seeking the truth?
By Kee Thuan Chye
7 Aug 2013 – news.malaysia.msn.com

14
Aug
13

Scorpene deal ‘broker’ out to polish PM’s image?

Since the procurement of two Scorpene-class submarines in 2002, the federal government has reluctantly parried a decade of controversy, scandals and intrigue that followed.

From allegations of corruption to murder, the government’s response had often been curt and vague to an issue that wouldn’t go away, as NGOs and the opposition sought to keep the issue alive.

So it is a matter of great curiosity when the entire government-linked media machinery recently featured the the matter prominently, be it on television or newspapers, on what was meant to be a quiet festive season in terms of news.

Two weeks after an interview with Jasbir Chahl Singh, the so-called “architect” of the Scorpene deal, hit newspapers and airwaves, the man was again on television yesterday and in the newspapers today.

The national news agency Bernama had rushed Jasbir’s lengthy statement late last night with six updates to the story in less than three hours – a practice out of the ordinary – that was subsequently reproduced by most major newspapers today.

Jasbir insisted that the Scorpene deal was transparent and reiterated that it had nothing to do with Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu who was shot and blown up with C4 explosives by then Najib Abdul Razak’s security detail in 2006.

He was then deputy prime minister and defence minister.

Timed with Umno polls

Puzzled that the government machinery is now giving prominence to its own controversy, opposition strategists can only look to the looming Umno party elections to offer an explanation.

PKR strategies director Rafizi Ramli pointed out that Jasbir had been silent for the past decade but has suddenly been in the news for two consecutive weeks.

“Jasbir’s timing makes it clear that the whole thing is not in the interest of truth and justice as he could have addressed the issue much earlier.

“The timing is very suspect. This whole thing appears to be part of an internal Umno campaign to preempt attacks on Najib with regards to the Scorpene controversy,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted.

…more
Scorpene deal ‘broker’ out to polish PM’s image?
Nigel Aw
Aug 11, 2013 – Malaysiakini

09
Aug
13

Umno leaders latch on to Scorpene broker’s claims

COMMENT It is quite a spectacle watching a chorus of Umno ministers scrambling to defend their party boss, following a newspaper report supposedly debunking the commonly-held belief that Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder was irretrievably connected to the corruption scandal in Malaysia’s purchase of two Scorpene-class submarines.

But why should Umno leaders suddenly play up the issue now? Is it to ‘cleanse’ Umno head Najib Abdul Razak of any stigma, so as to enhance his position in the imminent party election?

Or is it to influence public opinion ahead of the upcoming appellate court hearing of the murder conviction?

Whatever the intention, is it not too risky for Umno to gamble its fortunes on a hitherto unknown name to suddenly appear and make his claims, when the effort could boomerang by opening up Pandora’s Box?

The New Straits Times published on July 27 an interview with Jasbir Singh Chahl, a middleman touted as the “architect” of the Scorpene deal.

He vigorously claimed that Altantuya had nothing do with the RM7 billion deal and that the RM500 million so-called commission paid to the go-between company Perimekar Sdn Bhd was not bribery.

With this story as their launch-pad, Umno ministers one after another immediately began their salvos against critics of the issue, accusing them of having “proliferated lies and scandals” to “tarnish the image of our country and our leaders”.

They even called for police action against these alleged liars who have supposedly defamed the premier’s good name.

They include Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Home Ministry), and his deputy Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Khairy Jamaluddin (Youth and Sports Ministry) and Tengku Adnan Mansor (Federal Territories Ministry).

But in their haste to defend Najib, who was defence minister at the time of Altantuya’s murder and the deal, they seem to have overlooked two major deficits in Jasbir’s story.

First, Jasbir is but a middleman in the wheeler-dealer world of international defence weapon trade with developing countries, where shady dealings under the table are the norm rather than the exception.

So what authority or credibility does he command now to weigh in on such hefty issues as Najib’s alleged relationship* with Altantuya or the corrupt elements of the deal?

There is also no evidence that Jasbir was privy to the intricate details of these events. So, on what basis could these Umno ministers take his words as gospel truth to launch their counter-attacks?

Second, even if Altantuya was not involved in the Scorpene deal as Jasbir claimed (which is not at all certain), it should not detract from the allegations against Najib or about the corruption allegedly committed through Perimekar.

These allegations fall or stand on the merits of facts relating to the two issues individually, revealed through credible public hearings.

…more
Umno leaders latch on to Scorpene broker’s claims
Kim Quek
Jul 31, 2013 – Malaysiakini

07
Aug
13

Submarine Furor Returns to Malaysia

Central figure in bribe case seeks to paint company at center of the scandal as legitimate

A central figure in the massive bribery case of Malaysian officials for the purchase of submarines from a subsidiary of the French defense contractor DCN has caused a furor in Malaysia with an exclusive interview with the Kuala Lumpur-based political party broadsheet New Straits Times.

In the interview, Jasbir Singh Chahl told the newspaper, which is owned by the United Malays National Organization, the country’s biggest political party, that the murdered Mongolian party girl and translator Altantuya Shaariibuu had never acted as a translator in the affair. He also said Perimekar Sdn Bhd., then a wholly owned subsidiary of a company owned by one of then-Defense Minister Najib Tun Razak’s best friends, actually had done legitimate work to earn a €114.96 “commission” that has been characterized as a bribe by French officials.

In the wake of Chahl’s remarks, Home Minister Zahid Hamidi has threatened the leaders of Suaram, the human rights NGO that took allegations of the affair to French authorities, with sedition. The Registrar of Societies has also threatened to take away Suaram’s certification as an NGO.

No one outside of the New Straits Times, the UMNO mouthpiece, has been allowed to interview Jasbir Singh Chahl. If neutral journalists had been allowed, they could have brought up the 135 French documents that question Perimekar’s role in the purchase, and prove that Altantuya had visited Paris in the company of Perimekar’s boss, Abdul Razak Baginda. They could also have brought up a mysterious payment of €36 million from a DCN offshoot to Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd, a mysterious company whose only directors are Razak Baginda and his father.

Najib, Malaysia’s Prime Minister since 2009, has just come through a bruising political campaign in which corruption allegations, including those surrounding the submarine purchase, played a major role. For the first time since Malaysia became a nation, the Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition, came out on the short end of the popular vote, winning 47.38 percent of the popular vote against 50.87 percent for the opposition headed by Anwar Ibrahim. The Barisan, however, managed to win 140 of the 222 seats in parliament through gerrymandering.

The documents made available to Asia Sentinel from the French prosecutor’s office in Paris, make it clear both that DCN officials characterized Perimekar as “nothing more than a travel agency” allegedly designed to enrich UMNO officials, and also make it clear that Altantuya had accompanied Abdul Razak Baginda, the beneficial owner at that point of Perimekar, on a visit to DCN offices in 2005, before she was murdered by two of Najib’s bodyguards.

…more
Submarine Furor Returns to Malaysia
Written by John Berthelsen
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 – Asia Sentinel

03
Aug
13

PI Bala’s lawyer to testify at Paris Scorpene tribunal

The late private investigator P Balasubramaniam’s lawyer Americk Sidhu has agreed to testify before a French tribunal looking into alleged government corruption in Malaysia’s purchase of two Scorpene submarines.

Civil rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) executive director Cynthia Gabriel said Americk would give evidence in Paris sometime this September.

“The court there has been in touch with Americk to determine his free dates,” she said after attending a fund raising dinner for the case in which Suaram has been made a party.

She said the focus would be on Balasubramaniam’s revelations on the role of Malaysia’s then defence minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the Scorpene acquisition.

Cynthia also said the French court has now extended its investigations into circumstances that led to Altantuya Shaariibuu’s death, and especially if Najib had abused his powers as the then Deputy Prime Minister to cover the truth.

Najib has denied all allegations in the case while Balasubramaniam had made two conflicting statutory declarations (SD).

Balasubramaniam made further revelations that Najib and his family members had a direct hand in the case and Americk made a further expose at the Malaysian Bar annual general meeting on March 16, 2013, days after the private detective died of a heart attack.

“The issue is whether Balasubramaniam’s second SD was made at the instruction of Najib and whether Najib had instructed lawyer (Tan Sri) Cecil Abraham to prepare the SD2,” said Cynthia.

Americk, a guest speaker at the Suaram fundraising dinner last night, confirmed that he would testify in Paris.

Cynthia also disclosed that another Malaysian had given a written statement to the court just before Malaysia’s May 5 general election.

However, she said the witness’s identity has been withheld, as requested.

…more
PI Bala’s lawyer to testify at Paris Scorpene tribunal
By V. Anbalagan
July 20, 2013 – TMI




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