I ACCUSE PM NAJIB AND ROSMAH OF COMPLICITY IN THE ALTANTUYA MURDER - 'MURDERED IN MALAYSIA:THE ALTANTUYA STORY', CHAPTER 1
'MURDERED IN MALAYSIA:THE ALTANTUYA STORY' BY E.S. SHANKAR
THE COMPLETE A-Z OF THE ALTANTUYA MURDER. TO BUY THE BOOK, CLICK HERE
CHAPTER 1 – THE PLAYERS
'MURDERED IN MALAYSIA:THE ALTANTUYA STORY' BY E.S. SHANKAR
THE COMPLETE A-Z OF THE ALTANTUYA MURDER. TO BUY THE BOOK, CLICK HERE
CHAPTER 1 – THE PLAYERS
The golden rays of light first dimmed and then ebbed away forever from the 28-year old body of Altantuya Shaariibuu or Altantuya, a Mongolian national, on an ill-fated night in October 2006. She was brutally and inhumanely slain without the slightest compunction or sliver of remorse on the part of her killers, deep in the jungles of Shah Alam city in the west-coast state of Selangor, geographically situated adjacent to Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur. An extrovert and an extremely beautiful young woman, she had a colourful reputation. She had harboured ambitions of becoming a super star when she signed up in 2000 with a modelling school in Paris, France, the haute couture capital of the world. Altantuya was also a young translator whose fatal misfortune it was to have been indirectly entangled in the Malaysian government’s defence procurement programme and its often shady, convoluted and labyrinthine, but always secret and highly classified contract dealings amounting to tens of billions of ringgit. Rumours surfaced she had been recruited by a foreign spy agency for a honeytrap sting operation.
Altantuya’s disappearance may even have been dismissed and forgotten as one among many uninvestigated, or investigated but unresolved missing-persons report or as just another run-of-the-mill death, and possibly covered up, were it not for several extraneous factors.
Altantuya – Murdered and Body Blown To Bits with Explosives
One, Altantuya, whose father was a very prominent Mongolian, was gruesomely blown to bits by explosives planted on her body! Were it not for the hand of fate, as DNA testing had advanced, Altantuya’s murder may well have never been discovered and her body identified with dead certainty. Only her bone fragments and some tissue and hair were retrieved by forensic experts who successfully matched her DNA with blood samples obtained from her parents in Mongolia. Government pathologists certified that the cause of her death as from ‘probable blast related injuries.’
Two, a brace of police commando officers assigned as bodyguards to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib (Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister at that point in time) from the elite Royal Malaysian Police Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK) or Special Action Unit involved in security, special operations and counter terrorism, were charged with Altantuya’s murder.
Three, deeply implicated in Altantuya’s murder was a very prominent Porsche 911-driving Malaysian, a so-called defence strategist, Abdul Razak bin Abdullah Malim Baginda, a Malay Muslim who owned and headed the Malaysian Strategic Research Institute (MSRI). Baginda was charged with abetment of murder. Though married, Baginda had, by his own admission committed khalwat, by having an affair lasting eight months with Altantuya. He claimed he was subsequently blackmailed by her. He was one of Najib’s closest friends and policy advisers. Baginda moved freely and in chummy familiarity with the top brass in the corridors of power in government, in particular the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces.
He was reputed to be the prime mover in the eventual signing of a contract between the Malaysian Navy and a French company, Direction des Constructions Navales Services S.A. (DCNS), a majority French government-owned company, for purchase of two Scorpene search-and-destroy submarines armed with exocet missiles, estimated to cost RM7.5 billion (US$2.3 billion or €1.5 billion) in total.
That deal earned Baginda’s company, Perimekar Sdn. Bhd., a company with no prior experience whatsoever in submarine technology, training or maintenance, a much disputed and staggering “co-ordination and support services” fee of RM 575 million (US$180 million or €115 million). The fee was paid in 2007 by Armaris, a wholly owned subsidiary of DCNS, which, French lawyers investigating the G-to-G deal, feel clearly implied that the initial contract amount had been illegally inflated, and that the cost was passed on to the Malaysian taxpayer. Perimekar’s board of directors included ex-magistrate Madam Mazlinda Makhzan, Baginda’s wife.
Baginda, who obtained his PhD (doctorate) in International Relations from Trinity College, Oxford University, UK in 2009, was also accused of selling state secrets and classified documents to DCNS for RM142 million (US$44 million or €36 million), an act that would be considered treasonous in any country. This transaction was apparently completed through Terasasi (Hong Kong) Limited, an off-shore based company controlled by Baginda and in which Baginda’s father, Abdullah Malim Baginda, was also a director.
Prime Minister Najib and Wife Rosmah Accused
Four, never before in the history of any nation have allegations of murder, adultery, corruption and attempts to pervert the course of justice been nailed so firmly and directly to the doors of its prime minister and his wife, as they were against Dato Seri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah binti Mansor, both Malay Muslims. The stunning accusations and revelations surfaced through two Statutory Declarations (SD) sworn in front of, and witnessed by legally appointed Commissioners of Oaths.
The first SD implicating Najib’s wife Rosmah in Altantuya’s killing, was made by arguably Malaysia’s most widely read, controversial and famous blogger, Raja Petra Bin Raja Kamarudin (of ‘Malaysia Today’ fame), more popularly known as RPK. As a result, RPK was arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act and also charged under the Sedition Act with criminal defamation. Eventually, this forced RPK to flee Malaysian shores for exile in Manchester, United Kingdom (UK), where he resides and continues to blog from.
The other highly revealing SD, replete with salacious detail after salacious detail, including Najib’s alleged lurid sexual involvement with Altantuya (a preference for anal intercourse), was tendered by a private detective, Balasubramaniam Perumal, universally known as PI Bala.
On 4th January 2013, a third source of allegations appeared in a satirical novel ‘The Black Rose 1.0’ or ‘Bijan’s Bane’ written by one ‘Spirit of Altantuya’s’ said to be the pseudonym of Malaysian businessman Deepak Jaikishan Rewachand, who claimed to count Najib and Rosmah as “close friends”, and Rosmah as “sister”. ‘Bijan’ read backwards is Najib! At the time of Altantuya’s killing, Najib was Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia as well as its Minister of Defence. In March 2009, Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Gobind Singh of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) was suspended for a year from Parliament with complete loss of salary and perks, for calling Najib a murderer during a parliamentary session.
Five, shortly before the Altantuya trial began on 19 June 2007, a Deputy Public Prosecutor from the Attorney-General (AG) of Malaysia’s chambers made a startling statement in court that three, and only three persons, were involved in Altantuya’s murder. Coupled with the fact that the judge (jury trials were statutorily proscribed in 1995) and the government’s prosecution team (as well as defence lawyers) were switched on the flimsiest of excuses and pretexts before the trial proper commenced in June 2007, Chief Justice of Malaysia Ahmad Fairuz bin Sheikh Abdul Halim and the AG gave credence to the widespread public belief that this was a going to be a show trial whose verdict had already been pre-determined,in connivance with the-powers-that-be. Fairuz was forced into retirement in November 2007 after promoting the novel idea that English common law should be replaced with Islamic Syariah Law in secular Malaysia. In 2008, a Royal Commission of Inquiry hearing into the illegal fixing of appointment of judges recommended that Fairuz, one of six persons which included another former Chief Justice, Eusoff Chin, and former prime minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, be prosecuted for his role in undermining the integrity of the judiciary and bringing it into disrepute.
Six, an acquaintance of mine, blogger Din Merican, a man of impeccable credentials and integrity, and Raja Petra Bin Raja Kamarudin or RPK, also played their part. They, and others, set in motion a written declaration that made an appeal to the nation’s collective conscience and moral duty that might otherwise not have been triggered off. The Altantuya murder story went viral and global.
In his now famous ‘Let’s Send Altantuya’s Murderers To Hell’ blog post of 25 April 2008, read by millions, RPK wrote:
“I had dinner with a few friends last night and on the way to the restaurant another good friend, Din Merican, phoned to fill me in on the details of Dr. Setev Shaariibuu’s press conference that was held earlier that day.
I listened as Din filled me in on what transpired and could not help but blurt out, “I am a father of two daughters. I can imagine what Shaariibuu must be feeling. Fucking assholess!”
“I have three daughters,” Din responded. “These people are animals, bloody animals. Fuck them! Fuck them!”
This is what I would call ‘at a loss for words’ — and when you just have to say something but no words can fully describe how you feel, then ‘fuck’ is the only word you can use which will console you enough and make you feel you have expressed your anger and disgust in a most ‘appropriate’ manner.
…I found it very difficult to hold back my tears as Din continued with his narration of what Dr Shaariibuu said at his press conference.
“Let’s bring these bastards down,” I told Din. “Let’s launch a ‘Justice for Altanatuya: restore Malaysia’s dignity’ campaign’ or something like that. These assholes must be sent to hell.”
Seven, a complaint by SUARAM or ‘Suara Rakyat Malaysia’ (‘Voice of the Malaysian People’), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) dedicated to human rights, has resulted in a criminal investigation and inquiry in the courts in France, over allegations of massive corruption and bribes in relation to the purchase of the Scorpene submarines by the Malaysian Navy. SUARAM’s French lawyers believe that the “co-ordination and support services fee” of RM 575 million (US$180 million or €115 million) paid to Perimekar was a sham arrangement to disguise, conceal and facilitate highly illegal kickbacks to various parties in Malaysia and France.
As a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the Malaysian government is duty and honour bound to co-operate and assist the French courts in their inquiry. Included in SUARAM’s list of witnesses in the French inquiry are Najib, ex-Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Baginda who could all face arrest if they ignore the French court summons. UNCAC rules also allow recovery of assets acquired from spending of corrupt moneys. Under French law, anyone convicted of bribery could face up to ten years in prison and/or a maximum fine of RM750,000 (US$235,000 or €150,000). Judge Roger Le Loire who is heading the French inquiry also headed the earlier bribery inquiry on the sale of three Agosta-class submarines to Pakistan where fourteen persons were killed and forty others injured in a terrorist car-bomb attack. DCNS/Thales was also fined RM3 billion (US$985 million or €630 million) for corruption over sales of six frigates to the Taiwan Navy. In that scandal, five people involved in the contract negotiations, dealings and investigations were found dead under suspicious circumstances. Investigations are on-going into DCNS’ submarines contracts with the Indian Navy.
Eight, shockingly, till today the Malaysian police and the Attorney-General (AG) have not identified, arrested, charged and prosecuted anyone else with conspiracy to murder Altantuya. This is despite one of the UTK cops having stated in a written confession to the police, without identifying that person, that he had been offered between RM50,000 to RM100,000 (US$16,000-32,000) to carry out Altantuya’s execution. Neither have successive Ministers of Home Affairs ordered successive Inspector-Generals of Police to do their job and bring to book this person, nor have successive Prime Ministers including Najib or his Cabinet colleagues representing various ethnic-based coalition political parties, demanded that the Minister of Home Affairs, Police and AG either carry out their statutory duties and responsibilities, or be relieved of their positions and be charged with gross dereliction of duty. On 9 September 2013, when asked if the police would be carrying out a fresh probe into the 2006 murder of Altantuya, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, the Inspector-General of Police was quoted as saying:
“There is no need for the police to carry out new investigations into the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu . The Court of Appeal’s recent acquittal of two former police commandos over Altantuya’s murder was a court decision that should be respected. The matter is still on-going in the courts. That is the court’s findings, so everybody should respect it. An appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision is still available.”
Nine, a new name that emerged in the Scorpene submarines corruption scandal in 2013 was Jasbir Singh Chahl, a Malaysian Punjabi Sikh and a restaurateur. He claimed to be the original Malaysian architect of the submarines deal with DCNS/Thales. He disclosed in a press interview that he had been working with Thales in Malaysia prior to 2000. Jasbir exited the scene in 2002 when his RM50 million (US$16 million) lawsuit against Baginda was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum of money.
Ten, in March 2013, the body of 64-year old Olivier Metzner, a criminal law specialist lawyer representing DCNS in the Malaysian Scorpene submarines corruption inquiry in France, was found floating in the Brittany Sea, north west of France, near his private island in Brittany. A suicide note was found at his residence.
I dare say that such a case as this has never materialised in any other country in modern times. It calls into serious question the supposedly immutable separation of powers among the various arms of government in Malaysia, i.e. the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. SUARAM which claims it is being harassed by the government of Najib , is now being investigated by the government via Bank Negara, Malaysia’s central bank (similar to the USA Federal Reserve) and the Registrar of Societies allegedly for raising funds for the French inquiry, while operating as an unregistered society. In 2013, Najib, going against the grain, appointed ex-Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar as Malaysia’s new ambassador to France, over the heads of many long-serving career diplomats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
My debut satire/fiction novel titled ‘Tiger Isle: A Government of Thieves’ (CLICK HERE) and (HERE) was published in 2012. It’s theme was about endemic corruption, economic looting and plundering and even murder by so-called elected and democratic, but actually repressive and virtually totalitarian regimes in South East Asia. Are we witnessing the emergence of a Malaysia going past its point of no return and descending to dictatorship, gangsterism and thuggery as rule of law? The Altantuya murder belongs right up there with the ‘Dreyfus Affair’, Émile Zola and his 1898 ‘J’accuse!’ in which he railed against the French government’s anti-Semitic and unlawful conspiracy against Alfred Dreyfus, a French artillery captain, sentenced after a court martial for spying, to life imprisonment at the dreaded penal colony of Devils Island located off the French Guiana coast in South America.
Nothing less than Justice itself is on trial in Malaysia as Malaysians search for the country’s soul. Those who think they have got away with murder, and looting and plundering the nations coffers had better think again; it’s not quite over yet.
The bone and spine-chilling details of Altantuya’s execution, of the investigation, trial, verdict and appeal, will shock and amaze everyone at how this could have happened in Malaysia in the 21st century in a supposedly progressive nation, where leaders from the dominant ruling party, whose membership is restricted to Malays only, the United Malay National Organization (UMNO), claim Malaysia is a moderate Islamic nation.