By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun
The ghost of murdered Mongolian model and translator Altantuya Shaariibuu refuses to lie quiet.
For the Malaysian government of prime minister Najib Tun Razak a line appeared to have been drawn under the sordid and politically explosive affair when two of his bodyguards from his days as defence minister were convicted last year of the young woman's murder in the jungle outside Kuala Lumpur in October 2006.
But in the last few weeks two events have revived simmering questions about the connection of the murder to a $1.2 billion contract to buy two French Scorpene-class diesel submarines ordered while Najib was defence minister.
Najib's friend and adviser on defence matters, Abdul Razak Baginda, whose wife's company was paid a questionable $150 million over the submarine contract, had recently brought a love affair with Shaariibuu to an acrimonious end when she was abducted and murdered.
During the months' long trial of the two police bodyguards every effort was made to ensure prime minister Najib's name didn't figure in evidence.
And in a move that astonished legal experts, the judge early on in the trial exonerated Baginda of any responsibility. He promptly fled to Britain where he remains.
The stage management of the trial convinced Malaysian human rights groups that it would be pointless to try to resolve the Shaariibuu case in the senior courts in Kuala Lumpur.
One of those Malaysian human rights groups, Suaram, has therefore pressed for a judicial inquiry in France, where there are a number of investigations underway of the notorious willingness of state-owned defence companies to pay bribes or other inducements in order to gain arms contracts.
In this case Parisian prosecutors started inquiries in March focusing on the $150 million paid to a Malaysian company called Perimekar, which was set up just before Najib signed in 2002 the deal to buy the two Scorpene submarines from the French state-owned shipbuilder DCN.
Perimekar was ostensibly hired to provide "coordination and support services" for the contract, but no evidence has been produced to show the company had the skills for such tasks or ever attempted to perform them.
Perimekar is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a company called KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd., whose principal shareholder is lawyer Mazalinda Baginda, the wife of prime minister Najib's friend and adviser Razak Baginda.
Shaariibuu, 28 at the time of her death, had learned French when she was a model in Paris and there is evidence she acted as translator for her paramour Baginda during his negotiations with DCN over the submarines on behalf of Najib and the Malaysian government.
Malaysian authorities have responded to the move by French prosecutors to investigate DCN and particularly its submarine-manufacturing subsidiary Armaris, for possible corruption and paying kickbacks by insisting nothing is wrong.
A spokesman for prime minister Najib said recently the French prosecutors have the right to investigate, "but for us, there is no case to answer." He added that the deal was entirely free of corruption.
Exactly why Shaariibuu was murdered by Najib's bodyguards has never been entirely resolved, despite the long trial and 45 witnesses.
By some accounts, after Baginda jilted her, the young woman and a friend launched several noisy demonstrations outside Baginda's house.
Baginda reportedly went to Najib's chief of staff, Musa Safri, and asked for help in keeping the young woman away from his home.
As a result, the two police bodyguards, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, abducted Shaariibuu during one of her demonstrations, took her to the jungle outside the capital and shot her.
But they then used military C4 explosives to blow up the body in an apparent attempt to foil identification, though this act has, of course, led to speculation that Shaariibuu was pregnant.
But in a letter written by Shaariibuu and discovered after her death -a letter never produced in evidence -she indicated she was trying to blackmail Baginda for $500,000 to keep quiet about the details of the $150 million paid to his wife's company, Perimekar.
There have also been suggestions that Shaariibuu knew details of the many other arms purchases made in the military equipment buildup overseen by Najib while he was defence minister from 2002 to 2008.
These deals include the purchase of Sukhoi supersonic fighter jet aircraft from Russia and of a small fleet of coastal defence vessels.
As well as Malaysian human rights organizations, Shaariibuu's parents have been adamant that there has been no real justice for their murdered daughter.
With the stage-managed criminal trial now done, Shaariibuu's father and mother have tried to bring a civil suit seeking compensation for her death against Baginda and the two convicted policemen.
In a strange move, Malaysia's High Court in March ordered the family to make a security deposit of the equivalent of $20,000 for the case to be heard by the Court of Appeal and potentially to continue to the Federal Court.
The family was distraught, saying it could not raise such a sum.
But last week The Mongolian government announced it will put up the security bond demanded by the Malaysian court so the case can be heard, though at this point it seems more likely that Shaariibuu's ghost will get justice in Paris rather than Kuala Lumpur.
- ► 2016 (903)
- ► 2015 (1295)
- ► 2014 (1559)
- ► 2013 (1399)
- ► 2012 (1780)
- ► 2011 (2602)
- Dakwaan rasuah: DAP pecat ahlinya.... tapi UMNO?
- Mustapa Mohamed Bohong tentang FDI..
- Takkan Ling Liong Sik sorang saja kot.... - Guan E...
- Kali ini tak nak bersumpah ke Saiful?
- UMNO Kedah telah lama rebah!
- Hubungan Cinta Farah, Saiful tak dapat disahkan?
- Kabinet ditipu Menteri penipu?
- Ronnie mahu saman Khir Toyo
- Dah Gila ka apa, dia ni?
- Beranikah KJ berdepan Ibrahim Ali?
- Indira Gandhi tukarkan agama anak Redhuan? Kepada ...
- ADUN Galas dimasukkan ke ICU.
- Kisah Anak Pembesar Negara dan si Panglima Tua
- Ini Jawapan Saiful..
- Bekas Presiden MCA dituduh Pecah Amanah, Ikat Jami...
- Sumpah laknat Saiful Bukhari memakan diri ?
- Suara PERKASA : Vendor tak berani edar atau tak la...
- Azwan Ali KUTUK Saiful..
- Mufti Perak hanya orang kecil, saya tak mahu layan...
- UMNO dicabar dedah Melayu dihalau kerajaan negeri ...
- Apabila kes berprofil tinggi ditutup
- Rakyat perlu Ubah Gaya Hidup agar Najib boleh teru...
- Benar guru aktif berpolitik langkah silap UMNO/BN
- Did DPP Farah Azlina have sex with Saiful?
- UMNO/BN bayar RM1 juta untuk Pembohong?
- Hah? RM90,000 digunakan untuk meruntuhkan Arca Sen...
- Lakukah dendangan perpaduan Umno
- Isteri kedua ADUN Lunas mohon sah nikah.
- Antara Farah Azlina dan Gani Patail
- Siapa halang Guru berpolitik kalau bukan UMNO..
- Masyaallah..Baru Aku tahu rupanya ada kubur diatas...
- Benarkan Guru Berpolitik , agenda BN menghadapi PR...
- Surat dari MP British kepada Taib Mahmud..
- Surat MP British kepada Taib Mahmud
- Guru dibenarkan kembali berpolitik.. tapi sokong P...
- Taib Mahmud disambut dengan Demonstrasi di Oxford....
- Ahmad Maslan yang DESPERATE..
- Tycoons splash RM8mil in St Tropez champagne war
- Al KIsah Raja tak berhidung
- Belanja pertahanan RM180b
- Siri Pengkhianatan UMNO terhadap Melayu
- Eh? Perli Rosmah ka ni?
- Laporan Utusan Berniat Jahat!
- 'Perpaduan Melayu' benteng terakhir UMNO?
- 3.5Juta Euro dituang kelantai begitu sahaja..
- Raja Petra punya pasal.. Pasukan pendakwa kes Anwa...
- Guang Eng saman Utusan, SDO
- Ezam Mohd Noor Meludah ke langit..
- Ada Pegawai sabotaj Kerajaan Kedah?
- Videoclip : Ezam Memutarbelit fakta di Taman Sri A...
- Isu Pasir : Kenapa sudah diam Muhyiddin?
- Apakah PAS mahu tertipu macam gajah ?
- Pasir : Khir Toyo! Lu jangan cakap besar!
- Nyahkan Anwar dari S'gor - Ezam
- PR Selangor tak akan bubar DUN jika BN panggil PRU...
- Naib Presiden PAS minta Mufti Perak minta maaf ter...
- Videoclip : Ezam memutarbelit fakta di ceramah 'Se...
- UMNO Yang untung disebalik 'Perpaduan Melayu'
- UMNO/BN Serang PR Selangor bila gagal terus rompak...
- 200 Orang saja? Nak Rampas Selangor macam mana ni?...
- RM1000 kepada anak yang menjaga Ibu Bapanya di P.P...
- Negara kena Bangkrap dulu... Baru boleh maju..
- Dato Azhar!! Balik tengok kawasan hang la..
- Nik Ali Sanggup Bercakap Bohong!
- UMNO Selangor tertekan, Poket Kroni dah kering.
- Azalina bimbang Puteri Umno pupus
- Apa UMNO Pulau Pinang buat ketika jadi 'tunggangan...
- Saiful bercinta lagi?
- Idea BODOH Ibrahim Ali ditolak bulat-bulat..
- Curi Pasir : Kenapa Tindakan Polis berbeza di dua ...
- Fuh!! Nasib baik Parlimen Malaysia tak jadi macam ...
- Najib bayar RM50K untuk dapat liputan akhbar Ameri...
- Isu Kpg Pokok Asam : UMNO jangan dok buat cerita.
- Persetan perpaduan Melayu! dalam Umno sendiripun b...
- EKSLUSIF : Sebab Lionel Messi gagal menjaringkan g...
- Rasuah RM11 Juta : Australia minta bantuan SPRM
- Perpaduan Melayu : Ini antara sebabnya..
- Adakah PAS Dilihat Jahat Jika Menolak Tawaran Perp...
- Perpaduan Melayu : TG Haji Hadi, jangan biarkan lu...
- Utusan Putar belit Kenyataan saya - Nasrudin Tanta...
- Perpaduan Melayu : Harussani hanya mahu Bodek Naji...
- Cukuplah Utusan, nampak macam UMNO desperate - Kha...
- Sekolah Tamil : Mereka di TIPU lagi.. Janji tingga...
- PAS cabar Harussani dedah identiti wakil..
- Lain Macam saja kenyataan dia ni..
- Khas Buat Pemimpin UMNO/BN..
- Videoclip : UTK Menyerbu Konvoi Sultan Kelantan.
- Rosmah Terkangkang di Sabah : Cepatnya Balasan All...
- Siapa Perdana Menteri ni?? Rosmah atau Najib
- UMNO Selangor nak tunjuk handal kepada Najib?
- Dasar Tamak UMNO/BN, dah ada RM10B potong subsidi ...
- Anwar akan terus dihumban ke penjara?
- Jawablah Khairy.. Kenapa Diam?
- REALPOLITIK DI KEMAS KINI
- Lelaki yang ditahan bersama Paris Hilton itu ialah...
- Isu pasir Selangor, agenda tersembunyi BN
- Siapa Dalang Pencuri Pasir?
- Harussani BOHONG!!
- Pilih.. Parti atau Kerajaan?
- Kuota 30% saham bumiputera telah dihapus
- ▼ July (257)