Debunking Scorpene Scandal Part 1: Sensationalising Altantunya
Many have formed their own opinion and perception on the submarine issue that became hot and sensational arising from the brutal death of Altantunya in 2006. How much is fact and how much is mere fiction, perception and guesswork. But the corruption allegation on the submarine need to be addressed.
Until the “opposition”, which includes their NGO arm, SUARAM and their French lawyers can prove their allegations, no amount of demands and call on the BN Government can make them say more.
“Paul Mason shall sell no wine before it is time,” as the tagline in a famous commercial with the great filmmaker Orson Welles. They will reveal their card when the time is right.
With some knowledge and information on the inner working of the defense industry; the whose with who, who wants what, and who gets what, Nurul Izzah’s allegation that the €36 million to Terasasi from Thales International Asia (Thint Asia) is proceed for selling of Government military secret is laughable. Probably it has nothing to do with Scorpene.
It is funnier because many personalities involved with the submarine are those we know personally. We learned from them of the problems faced in building the submarine, thus it made all these allegations by opposition look preposterous.
This blog intend to debunk each issue by issue using information from their sources. We will reveal the inconsistency in their allegation, and the ever changing stories. There are allegations they made that has quiet down because there is no proof.
For those so confident that there is a case against Najib, the Government side knows what is in the cards of the “opposition”, especially with the leak of the 153 documents, but the opposition and even the judges do not know what the government have.
So let the games begin!
The court in France is only an investigating court. There is no trial, no subpoena, and no charges yet. All that will only happen when the trial begin. And that is if there is charges. An extract from Raja Petra’s latest below:
Actually, this is not an open court hearing but merely an application by Suaram who filed a criminal complaint, together with an application to join the proceedings as a civil party — Civil Party Petition — before a judge in chambers. The judge will first have to look through the evidence and determine whether a crime has been committed before ordering a trial.
Based on Suaram’s application, the prosecutor ordered the Tribunal De Grande Instance in Paris to investigate the allegations of impropriety in the submarine contract. The result of this police investigation runs into hundreds of pages from D1 to D153, which you can read below.
The idea to initiate a campaign to keep the Scorpene submarines issue alive until the 13th General Election was mooted by R. Sivarasa and Tian Chua some time back in 2009. Sivarasa and Tian Chua discussed the matter with Anwar Ibrahim who decided that Suaram would be the best vehicle to use to initiate the action.
French lawyers were then engaged to act on behalf of Suaram to apply to the French court for a probe to be conducted on all the companies and personalities involved in the submarines contract. This was a sort of ‘class action suit’ to be taken by Suaram but Suaram had to first convince the court that it had locus standi on the matter. Suaram was presented to the court as an international NGO similar in status to Amnesty International whose job is to uphold democracy and human rights. This pleading to the court can be seen in the first document, document D1, below.
Most of the police investigation reports submitted to the court were quite routine in nature, touching on the background of all the French and Malaysian companies involved in the contract plus the role of the various personalities from these companies, including tracking the money trail. It traces the history of the entire transaction to the present day and it explores whether there are any criminal elements in how the transaction was conducted.
Remember that this case is not about Altantunya’s death but about allegation of corruption in the purchase of two Scorpene submarines. The allegation is that the €114 million (RM534 million) paid to Perimeker for logistical support involving crew training is corruption.
Taken from their website, SUARAM explained that the court decision to take up the case as below:
In April 2010, the lawyers representing SUARAM, informed us that the courts had accepted the request to investigate the claim of corruption for a payment amounting to Euro 114 million made as commissions from DCNS to Perimekar.
It is not difficult to prove that there is nothing else to it than what Perimeker was. But that will be for an upcoming posting.
Those serially numbered documents still does not constitute proof. It has to tally with other supporting evidences to form a substantiated allegation. Until then, any one document is open to a myriad of possibilities.
Sensationalising Altantunya’s death
Tian Chua’s Malaysian Chronicle psychologically implicating Najib and Rosmah in the murder of Altantuya with use of a poster
Since SUARAM made their submission to the French court, every other statement from SUARAM have been misleading and not the truth.
SUARAM’s motivation is to sensationalise Altantunya’s death and link it to the submarine deal, while the court is looking at only the money paid to Perimeker.
Below is from their website here:
Why should Malaysians be interested?
- The defence ministry has spent more than one billion euros or about RM 7.3 billion of the rakyat’s money for the purchase of the two submarines, which are reportedly of questionable quality. The first submarine, the KD Tuanku Abdul Rahman could not sink in tropical waters, while the second arrived more than 7 months after the scheduled date of arrival.
- Adding intrigue and mystery to this controversial deal was the mysterious and horrifying death in 2006, by two policemen closely linked to then deputy prime minister Najib Razak. The deceased is a Mongolian national, believed to be a translator and mistress of Abdul Razak Baginda, a political analyst, also closely linked to Najib.
- C4 explosives were said to have killed her. This explosive is not easily available in the market. It is available only in the Defence ministry and normally used for demolishing buildings. Who issued the explosives to be used and why? When Altantuya was killed, Najib was still the Defence Minister.
Notice there is nothing specific in their allegation on corruption but lengthy and sensational description on Altantuya’s death.
More from the same website below to see where SUARAM’s focal point is really about:
SUARAM has been monitoring the scandal building not just surrounding the mysterious and horrendous death of Altantuya Shariibu, but her role and involvement in the procurement of arms for the Malaysian government, leading to her gruesome murder.
Regular press conference by SUARAM and their lawyers with speculative up-dates over a case which is still under investigation, charges not made and trial not begin as political propaganda campaign for PKR
SUARAM used the opportunity to up-date the public as a propaganda strategy to keep alive the issue by revealing bit by bit new information and sensationalise with all sort of speculations.
According to Freddie Kevin here, SUARAM begin their role to takeover from Anwar with Dr Kua Kia Soong’s statement in Malaysiakini in November 2009.
Dr Kua and the French were already at odds with him claiming it as “seeking justice for Altantunya in the French court” while the lawyers clarified “the murder of the Mongolian woman is beyond the jurisdiction of the French authorities.”
Claim whatever they like, but what is obvious is SUARAM is a mouthpiece of PKR. They are using the alleged Scorpene corruption scandal and sensational Altantunya murder to pinpoint on unsubstantiated accusation against Dato Seri Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
The political logic to this is easy to understand. There is a lot of scandals, corruption accusations and administrative weaknesses of Anwar. And any could turn into a disastrous issue for him.
But there is not much such material to pin against Najib. Most of the current issues faced by Najib including corruption cases are legacy issues. And Anwar knows it.
Who is Altantunya?
Much has been said of Altantuya the past few days.
Did she or did she not enter France together with Razak Baginda? Police claimed she never entered but others claim there are photos of her in Paris.
Many claimed the above picture is Altantuya in front of the Notre Dame in Paris, but others dispute it to be the Gothic Cathederal Guomo in Milan, Italy
There are also those claiming her picture in front of the Notre Dame is doctored, thus disputing the pictures allegedly given to Asia Sentinel by Mongolian Ambassador at large, Dato Syed Abdul Rahman..There is nothing in the picture to indicate date or any other information. Thus any conclusion drawn from the pictures are speculative. [Read Perak Today analysis here]
Leaving aside the issue until it is resolved, according to SUARAM and we extract from a SUARAM posting here on their official blog, Altantuya is many things related to the deal. Read the extract below:
Who is Altantuya Shaariibuu?
- Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa (1978 – 2006), is a Mongolian national, who was murdered brutally in Shah Alam Malaysia on the 19th October 2006, during the month of Ramadhan.
- She worked as a translator for Mr. Abdul Razak Baginda, who is a well-known political analyst, a close ally to Prime Minister Najib Razak.
- When Altantuya Shaariibuu was killed, Najib was the deputy prime minister and defense minister.
- She was also a single mother with two young children below 10 years old.
- Her younger son has a rare brain disease and she was trying to earn enough money to send him for a good medical treatment.
- Now both her sons are orphaned and they are taken care of by their grandfather – Mr Setev Shaariibuu and his spouse in a village in Mongolia.
- Altantuya was recruited for the job because she was reportedly fluent in Mongolian, Russian, Chinese, English, and some French. In fact prior to this job, she has had some business dealings with Abdul Razak.
- Razak Baginda was at that time, a defense analyst from the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre think-tank.
But when it was revealed that Altantunya was no translator and the foreign languages she could speak was Russian and rusty English, Tian Chua started to react as though the above description perpetuated by the “opposition” was never their’s.Tian Chua is a well known agitator and activist of SUARAM. He is involved in the submarine allegations, posted this doctored picture on his blog and claim it real, and spoke on the issue to the press and in the SUARAM fund raising dinner.
We extracted from his response from FMT here, below:
Meanwhile, Batu MP Tian Chua said the new revelation raises more questions that must be answered by Najib and Abdul Razak themselves.
“The government has a lot to answer. We have to bring back Razak Baginda to court. The argument that she [Altantuya] was a translator and that there was commission to be paid, and that Razak said he didn’t want to pay her is now in question since she never went to France.”
“When we went to France and we asked the lawyers, they almost fell down laughing because all the negotiations were conducted in English! The French politicians were shaking their head, asking: ‘Why would we do a multi-billion deal without speaking English? It doesn’t make sense,” said Tian.
‘Why was she killed?’
“So now we have to ask Najib and Razak Baginda: Why do you say you need a translator? What is her role? She had no role! We want to know why she was killed.”
“Who sponsored her trips? Under what name did she travel? It makes us recall that there was no record of her entry into Malaysia. It is very mysterious. Something is wrong.”
However, Tian said that he “did not care” about Altantuya and the focus should be on corruption.
Oh really? They never cared for Altantuya?
SUARAM spin on Altantuya
SUARAM also wrote extensively on who killed her, where and how she was killed, alleged that she was killed for knowing to much, and alleged to know Najib, but little on the submarine bit.
The allegation on getting killed for knowing too much is reproduced below:
Altantuya was killed because she knew too much?
- That’s what her dad Mr Shaariibuu said when he came to Malaysia in 2007 to attend her murder trial
- According to reports by the French newspaper Liberation,Altantuya found out that one of the parties involved in negotiations, a Spanish company Armaris, had paid out the commissions of 114 million euros for the deal(reportedly one billion euros or RM4.7 billion for the purchase of three submarines).
- The commission was credited into the accounts of a company controlled by Razak, Perimekar.
- Subsequently, Altantuya, accompanied by her cousin, went to Kuala Lumpur to ask for the portion of the commission due to her (allegedly US$500,000).
- Unfortunately, Altantuya never got her share.
To get her fair share, she must be a military deal maker or broker. SUARAM never described her as such but only claimed as a translator.
For her to be a translator, Altantuya must know at least English. Many defenders of her language proficiency as a translator including SUARAM argued that her father Dr Setev Shariibuu claimed she could speak 6 languages including English.
Getting this The Star link here from Freddie Kevin’s blog here, it leads to Altantuya’s note before her death submitted in court. Read it and try to understand it. Is it the letter of a translator proficient in English.
No Military Broker
Unless she leads a lifestyle of the late Adnan Khashoggi, one cannot claim Altantuya as an arms dealer. Not with her limited language proficieny, particularly in English
Could someone with such limited communication skill be an arms broker or military dealmaker? Thus, how could she be demanding her “share” from Razak?
Unless one is rich and have a lifestyle like Adnan Khashoggi, very few can call themselves as arms dealer.
Most local players are one categorised as suppliers or representatives of arms manufacturer. These representatives are usually retired military or Defense Ministry’s officials. For major military assets, it is dealt on a G to G basis.
Altantuya is no arms dealer or broker. Neither is she representative of any military suppliers.
In her letter presented in court, she wrote:
Yes I try to blackmail him. Maybe it’s my fault but now I really understand he doesn’t loves me anymore and I need to stop that I asked money from him to go back. how he promised to me.
This phrase is clear that Altantunya just realised it was over between her and Razak. She only asked for some money to enable her to return to Mongolia.
Nevertheless, such is the attitude of opposition to facts and reasons, they are not likely to believe so. They will still insist with what SUARAM had written here as below:
- She accompanied Razak Baginda to Paris where she worked as translator during his negotiations to purchase submarines from France for the Malaysian government.
How can that be so?
Read on in Malaysiakini report here.
The Scorpene deal was signed on June 5, 2002 in Kuala Lumpur.
Razak met Altantuya and begin the affair in November or December 2004. The affair ended in 2005. The following are quotes from the judge in Altantuya murder trial in The Star dated October 31st, 2008 here:
“At the start of the trial, Abdul Razak filed an affidavit saying he had an affair with Altantuya after meeting her in 2004.
The tell-all affidavit said they had trysts in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and France, but broke up in 2005.”
That affidavit was dated Jan 5, 2007 and was not disputed as a case fact. The same fact was reported in NST recently when Ezam Mohd Noor made a certain demand on Anwar Ibrahim who kept making accusation on the Scorpene deal.
And, in The Star report dated November 20th, 2008 here, Razak clarified further:
He also denounced “lies” that Altantunya was involved in certain deals such as the Scorpene submarine deal in Paris, France.
“There have been all sorts of stories and insinuations about the linkages between the deceased and some deals. I’m sure all are aware but everyone is lazy these days and don’t check their facts.
“The purported deal was signed in June 2002. I first met the deceased in November or December 2004. I fail to see the connection but it went on and on. These are malicious lies,” he added.
Never Giving-up a Spin
We thought Zahid’s denial was sufficient, but Tian Chua came to rescue Nurul Izzah for admitting his denial answer as a fair “technical reason”. The extract from Malaysian Insider’s herebelow:
But PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang furnished another court document today, which he claims proves the government had lied in its denial.
“The government says that they do not know about Terasasi’s existence and they categorically denied that Terasasi has sold secret Malaysian naval documents to France.
“But yesterday I revealed the annual returns which showed that Terasasi’s owners are only two — Abdul Razak and his father, the same owners of Perimekar,” he said, pointing out that Putrajaya had previously insisted that it had signed a contract with Perimekar for “coordination and support services”.
“So if the government claims that they don’t know, it means that Abdul Razak was dishonest in his contract — because he not only received payments from the government, the contract was also signed between Terasasi and Thompson, which later became (French shipmaker) DCNS,” he said.
The Batu MP also cited a French court document available online on Asia Sentinel, where Abdul Razak was mentioned as a party to the controversial Scorpene submarine purchase.
Chua singled out Document 136, which was translated from French, which details the interview between the French police and DCNS’ financial controller, Gerard-Philippe Menayas.
The document, distributed to the media today, was of Menayas’ explanation to the police of how the firm had to use other associate companies to make payments to Abdul Razak’s Terasasi.
Even more notable from the document, said Chua, was Menayas’ clear mention of Altantuya as Abdul Razak’s “interpreter”.
“So the government cannot deny the link,” he said.
Malaysia paid RM6.7 billion in 2009 for the two submarines of which RM574 million was earmarked for co-ordination and support services for Perimekar Sdn Bhd, owned by Abdul Razak.
Still insisting on Altantunya being a “interpretor”? Hehehe …
For further info on Terasasi, Thales Internatiopnal Asia, Armaris, Thales and DCNS, just watch this space.
In the meanwhile, show proof that there is money flow from DCNS to Thales to Terasasi. Otherwise, Menayas is only a lead but does not hold water. It is still open to many other possibilities..
It also means Tian Chua has not proven Government knows anything about Terasasi unless there is transaction involving the Government and Terasasi. Furthermore, since Terasasi is Razak’s company, money from any source can flow into it.
Ask what does Thales do? Is it only related to submarine?
What happen to an earlier allegation that Malta-based company, Giffen said to be the conduit for money from Perimeker to Terasasi? SUARAM or their lawyer speculated such but have yet to show prove.
With the documents confiscated by police available online, which numbered document is the money flow showing such? Why the silence? Cat got your tongue?
Before signing off, a friendly reminder to all those wishing to comment in this blog:
Just state your stand. There is no need for hostilities, insults and use bad languages.
Lets keep it civil, calm and appreciative for differences in opinion