Prime Minister Najib Razak has been slammed for trying to halt a probe into several people including his brother Nizam for forcing private investigator P Balasubramaniam into signing a statutory declaration to overturn an earlier one where Bala had implicated Najib and his wife Rosmah in the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaarriibuu.
According to Bala’s lawyer Americk Sidhu, the Attorney-General’s decision to close the file was aimed at halting embarrassing information from surfacing to implicate Nizam, Rosmah’s business associate Deepak Jaikishan and his brother and a police officer named Inspector Suresh.
This group is believed to have acted with the motive of trying to protect Najib, then the deputy prime minister, and destroy the credibility of the information contained in a previous statutory declaration.
“The A-G can’t afford to investigate further as a whole can of worms would be opened up. That is the reason why he AG closed the file,” Americk told Malaysia Chronicle.
“Nothing is going to happen to the culprits because they are all sitting on the correct divide of the political fence. I don’t think it is a good outcome. It is another attempt at sweeping stuff under the carpet again. This is something they are experts at.”
Powerful hands behind her killing
The murder of the beautiful 28-year old Altantuya, whom Bala had revealed in his first statutory declaration was Najib’s mistress before he passed her on to his close associate Razak Baginda, has gripped Malaysians for years now.
She was killed in a remote jungle clearing in Selangor in 2006 in a most horrific way. Despite telling her killers she was pregnant, two of Najib’s former bodyguards shot her in the head and blew her body with C4 explosives to prevent identification.
Months after the discovery of her body, rumors began circulating of powerful hands behind her killing. Altantuya, who speaks four languages including Russian and French, had played a role in helping Razak Baginda close a multi-billion ringgit submarines purchase for Najib, who was then the Defense minister.
Bala had been hired by Razak Baginda to stop Altantuya from harassing him for what she had said was her share of the submarines commission paid by French vendor DCNS. It amounted to US$500,000 while Baginda’s firm was allegedly benefitted with a 214 million euros side-deal.
In 2008, after harassment over his police statement which had contained some of these details, Bala decided to blow the whistle. With the help of his lawyers, he made a statutory declaration detailing all the information that had come to his hand while working for Baginda.
Why weren’t Nizam, Deepak and the rest investigated
It was the first time that Najib and Rosmah were publicly implicated in the muder although speculation of their involvement had already been circulating round the country for more than a year.
But within 24 hours of the release of Bala’s statutory declaration, he was forced to issue a second one to retract the first. He then fled Malaysia with his family, only to resurface in late 2009, where he said in an interview recorded on video that it was Nizam and the other people in the group who had forced him to issue the second declaration.
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Several police complaints were lodged and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission was tasked to investigate Nizam and the others for having allegedly bribed and intimidated Bala into signing the second statutory declaration.
Earlier this year, the MACC made a half-hearted attempt to go after Bala but at the 11th hour cancelled a meeting with him in London. Although Najib’s minders rushed to defend the MACC’s withdrawal, it was clear the agency had been instructed by powerful people to stop digging – lest the dirt they found became uncontainable.
“Have the police investigated the culprits who threatened Bala to retract his first SD -Deepak and his brother, Inspector Suresh, Nizam Razak, Rosmah Mansor and the Military Intelligence?” asked Americk.
“If they had, this file certainly would not be closed. If they had done their job properly all the above named persons, including Bala’s ‘lawyer’ Arunampalam (who drew up the second SD) would be in the dock being charged for a variety of offences.”
Americk was responding to Nazri Aziz, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, who announced on Wednesday that the government would be closing the file on the two “conflicting” SDs.
“Although there are contradictions between the two statutory declarations, it did not at all affect the Altantuya trial. Moreoever, it is believed that the individual (Balasubramaniam) is still abroad,” Mohd Nazri had said in a written reply to question posed in Parliament about the status of the government’s probe.
Najib’s two former bodyguards have been sentenced to hang but the obvious question remains unanswered, who ordered the murder?
Malaysia Chronicle appends below a copy of the police complaint lodged by Americk on July 8, 2008 after the second Statutory Declaration emerged. .
I, AMERICK SINGH SIDHU NRIC NO 561129-71-5251 hereby lodge the following complaint :
(1) I am practising as an Advocate and Solicitor in Malaysia.
(2) I was instructed by one Mr Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal ( NRIC NO 600928-08-6235 ) in respect of documenting the facts and circumstances involving him in the Altantunya matter.
(3) This led to the affirmation of a Statutory Declaration by Mr. Balasubramaniam on 01.07.2008 . The affirmation of the said Statutory Declaration was done in my presence and I have personal knowledge of the facts and circumstances leading to the production and affirmation of the said Statutory Declaration dated 01.07.2008 .
(4) Mr Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal held a Press Conference on the 04.07.2008. I am informed by media reports that another Statutory Declaration affirmed by Mr. Balasubramaniam and dated 04.07.2008 was made public on that day. The contents of the said 04.07.2008 Statutory Declaration suggests that the earlier Statutory Declaration dated 01.07.2008 was made ‘ under duress ‘.
(5) I acted in good faith in documenting the facts that led to the production and affirmation of the Statutory Declaration dated 01.07.2008 and i am satisfied it was made voluntarily and without any duress whatsoever.
(6) By reason of the matters stated above , I have reasonable grounds to believe that the second Statutory Declaration dated 04.07.2008 is suspicious on the face of it . The said document’s contents amount to criminal defamation of my character both personal and professional. I strongly believe person and or persons have induced , threatened and caused the production of the 04.07.2008 Statutory Declaration by unlawful conduct.
(7) I request that an investigation be carried out to ascertain the person and or persons who unlawfully caused the said Mr Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal to state that the earlier Statutory Declaration dated 01.07.2008, which was made in my presence, was made under duress. I believe the offence of criminal conspiracy to cause criminal defamation would have been committed by this and/ or these persons.
Dated this 8th day of July 2008