Altantuya Shaaribuu Murder Case: Anwar’s Media Statement
Apart from the legal and criminal issues, this case has raised several important questions pertaining to governance and accountability.
The public is entitled to know that investigations have been carried out without fear or favour especially with regards to the use of C4 explosives as well as the fact that two of the accused were Special Forces Unit personnel assigned to the Deputy Prime Minister’s office.
In this regard, public interest would require that police statements should be recorded from all those deemed to have any kind of relations with Altantuya Sharibu or any links with the murders. For example, there are some nagging questions on why would the Special Forces personnel currently charged want to murder the victim and then take such drastic action in an attempt to destroy the evidence? Were they acting on their own volition or were they really carrying out instructions? Who authorised the use of the C4 explosives?
There is also the very disturbing issue about the sudden disappearance of travel documents regarding Altantuya’s movements in and out of Malaysia.
Are the immigration authorities aware of this? Were there instructions from persons higher up to have these records deleted? How did it take place ? These are questions which must be investigated now in a transparent manner, and those responsible exposed.
Regardless of whatever happens in the trial which will only be take place next year, these basic questions must be dealt with now. These questions are asked not only in the country, but throughout the world as our judicial system comes under scrutiny yet again. The impression now is of a truncated criminal investigation raising more questions than answers. It is vital that whilst those who pulled the trigger are brought to justice, all those who were responsible for directing the killing must be made known. In fact, such persons bear greater responsibility for the crime.
There have also been questions raised about Altantuya’s role in the government’s purchase of the Scorpene and Agosta submarines from France in a deal costing nearly 1 billion euros (RM4.6 billion). We find it totally unacceptable the reasons given by the government that there is no question of corruption or accountability because the commission that was paid was between the seller and a third party, and “did not involve government funds”.
This is a blatant lie; because no manufacturer would give such huge commissions unless that has already been factored into the pricing of the purchases of the submarines.
The payment of this commission of 114 million euros (RM530 million) is exorbitant by any standard. The public has the right to know who are the real beneficiaries of this massive payout? As revealed in the Far Eastern Economic Review in 2002, Perimekar Sdn. Bhd., would receive 8% of the total contract value over the next six years. According to the publication, Perimekar is owned 100% by Ombak Laut, a company owned by Abdul Razak Baginda and his associates. Ombak Laut then sold 40% of Perimekar to LTAT and a sister company.
How could a relatively unknown company secure such a major weapons procurement deal? The fact that Razak Baginda was the head of a political think tank closely linked with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence itself raises a great number of questions as to the transparency and propriety of the transactions.
Why have the relevant authorities such as the Anti Corruption Agency and Commercial Crime Division of the Police not begun investigations on this matter?
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