"....(The) call for transparency and for widening police investigations into the murder of a Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, is a stark reminder that all is NOT well with the Malaysian government’s handling of this murder case.
In fact, the standard of transparency and accountability falls so short of that practiced by a democratic country.... perhaps it is to provide shelter to one guilty of murder.
....Altantuya Shaariibuu was a multi-lingual interpreter and translator - Chinese, Russian, English and French - for which she travelled frequently.
Altantuya Shaariibuu was alleged to have been a lover of Abdul Razak Baginda (who is divorced) . ..... whose baby he allegedly fathered.
According to Mongolia's UB Post, DNA-test of Altantua's son was taken in November 2006 by Malaysian police to check on her claim that the child’s father was a Malaysian. Altantuya had claimed she and Baginda had had a relationship and that he was the father of their child. She came to Malaysia to track down Razak to ask him for financial support for the baby’s medical treatment. Read here for more and HERE
The Backdrop to the Murder
Shaaribuu arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Mongolia on Oct. 6, reportedly intent on getting Razak to acknowledge his role as the father of her baby, according to press accounts, and asking for money. Accompanied by her sister and a cousin, Shaaribuu claimed that the baby was the product of a relationship she had with Razak when he visited Mongolia two years ago, telling others in Malaysia that the political analyst was her husband.
According to news reports, Shaaribuu found out where Razak lived, but she never got to see him. Police say she received a phone call to meet him but according to news reports she was pushed into a car and driven away, never to be seen again.
When she did not return to her hotel(Hotel Malaya), the sister and cousin lodged reports with the police, and eventually with the Mongolian honorary consul. Mongolian authorities expressed their concern directly to the government.
Abdul Razak Baginda
Razak is a political analyst and a confidante of the Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Defence Najib Tun Razak.Razak travelled extensively and often accompanied Najib in his trips overseas. Razak is NOT a politician but his think tank, the Malaysian Strategic Research Institute, functioned as an international propaganda vehicle for both UMNO and the Malaysian armed forces.
Razak, 46, who became head of the institute when it was set up in 1993, is endowed with charm, a command of language and easy access to power due to his connections with Najib. A prolific writer, he penned a book in praise of the Malaysian Armed Forces, published by them, and numerous other works including “Malaysia and the Islamic World,” a collection of essays he edited with a forward by Najib.
The gravity of Altantuya’s bizarre murder - shot and blown to pieces - looms from its indirect link to Najib.
- Two of Najib's bodyguards were charged for killing and Razak Baginda for abetting; and the explosives used were no ordinary explosives, but high power C-4 which was in the exclusive custody of the ministry of defence. Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 30, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 35, are the Special Operations Officers charged in connection with the case. It leaves the question of how two elite police officers became involved with a Political Analyst with no apparent government authority. Altantuya's body was found in a patch of jungle near the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Shah Alam after she had reportedly been shot twice and torn apart with hand grenades available only to Malaysia’s security forces.
- Compounding this gravity was another scandal also indirectly linked to Najib via Razak Baginda, whose company was the dubious recipient of an exorbitant commission paid out in connection with the multi-billion purchase of submarines by the Ministry of Defence (and Najib is the Minister of Defence)
QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED:
(A) By the police:
(B) By the Porsecutor and Judiciary
Murder is a NON-bailable offence. But Razak was granted bail (without security) on Nov. 23 and again extended on bail on Dec. 14 on the questionable ground of having had bronchitis. The deputy public prosecutor (Salehuddin Saidin) failed to oppose bail.
According to Section 388(1) of Malaysia's penal code: "When any person accused of any non-bailable offence is accused or detained without warrant by a police officer or appears or is brought before the court he may be released by the officer in charge of the police district or by the court, but he shall not be so released if there appear reasonable grounds for believing that he has been guilty of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for..."
His conduct was improper when he ruled out the possible involvement of parties other than the three accused when the investigation is manifestly incomplete and the self-motivation of the killers ostentatiously lacking.
His overzealous push for such a premature conclusion has thus fanned further speculation on the existence of a real master mind behind the three accused.
Perhaps what disappoints the public most is the distant date fixed for the hearing - March 10, 2008. The judge’s (K.N.Segara) explanation of first-come-first-serve cuts no ice. For an important case like this, where the integrity of the highest strata of the government is brought into question at home and abroad, the court has every justification to allocate priority, since it serves public interests to have justice served and law and order restored to regain public confidence at the earliest.
WHAT IS THE LIKELY MURDER MOTIVE?
The key to any murder case is the motive. This is where we have to bring in the submarines deal scandal.
... Altantuya’s apparent part in the scandal may provide an important lead to the motivation of this murder.
Based on an interview with Altantuya’s father Professor Shaariibuu.... Altantuya had been rendering translation and secretarial services to Razak, interpreting for him in high level meetings and negotiation. She had assisted Razak in the submarines deal.
The Professor further stated that the main purpose of Altantuya’s recent trip to Malaysia was to demand settlement of the fees due to her.
Such demand for fees would have been treated as an ordinary affair. (But) there is a dark side to this submarine deal.
Being the interpreter, Altantuya could have played an important role in sealing the deal.
The Malaysian ministry of defence pays one billion euros (RM 4.5 billion) to the vendor Amaris (French/Spanish JV) for three submarines (including a used one)...... the sales was NOT conducted through competitive tenders. From the transaction, Razak’s company Perimekar receives a commission of 114 million euros (RM 510 million) from Amaris. The commission is a whopping 11% of the sales value.
And it would not be far fetched to imagine that Altantuya could have been promised a more than generous fee, in addition to privy to information that could not be leaked out without causing grievous damage to others.
Under such circumstances, Altantuya could be looked upon as an unwelcome and dangerous visitor if there were irreconcilable differences between her and her Malaysian clients, whether these arose from pecuniary conflicts or sexual entanglement as widely rumoured.
It is obvious that investigations into the murder case cannot be meaningfully pursued without at the same time probing into the submarine deal scandal.
In this connection, the participation of our docile Anti-Corruption Agency is long overdue.
The Prime Minister must ensure that the Police and ACA work hand in hand to expeditiously secure a full and fair investigation into the murder case as well as to bring the corrupt to book in the submarine corruption scandal.
He should further ensure that the judiciary and the attorney general’s chamber be allowed to deliver justice without interference from the Executive.
Anwar Ibrahim made this statement at a press conference:
“In my personal experience, the UTK are there to protect the Deputy Prime Minister and they work under our instructions.
He (Najib) should at least be asked how is it a person assigned to you, to protect you and work under your instructions, can (allegedly) commit such a heinous crime.
It is vital that whilst those who pulled the trigger are brought to justice, all those who are responsible for directing the killing must be made known. In fact, such persons bear greater responsibility for the crime ."