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Thursday, January 14, 2010

MACC: We're ready to meet P.I. Bala even overseas

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13: Newly-appointed MACC chief Abu Kassim Mohamed said his commission was ready to meet private investigator P Balasubramaniam at any venue, including overseas, over the latter’s allegations linking Prime Minister Najib Razak to the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case.

"For us, Balasubramaniam is the main witness. We are prepared for it anywhere, even abroad," Abu Kassim Mohamed told reporters on Wednesday.

Balasubramanian (PIC), who was working for Najib’s close associate Abdul Razak Baginda, had caused a stir in 2008 when he made a statutory declaration containing a barrage of allegations – the most sensational of which was that Altantuya had been Najib’s mistress at one time.

The drama heightened when Bala retracted the statutory declaration within 24 hours and fled the country with his family.

New bombshells

In a video interview aired on the Malaysia Today website in November, 2009, Bala dropped a series of new bombshells by revealing that he was given money to leave Malaysia and the safety of his family threatened if he did not comply.

According to Bala, among those who advised that he leave the country included Nazim, the architect younger brother of Najib.

Last month, the private investigator offered to meet MACC officers and help in investigations into the incident. His whereabouts are still unknown and he contacted the MACC through email.

Altantuya, a 28-year old Mongolian translator, was murdered in Malaysia in 2006. Two former police officers, who were once bodyguards of Najib’s wife Rosmah, have been sentenced to hang for her killing.

But political analyst Razak Baginda – who was charged with abetting the two cops – was acquitted.

According to French newspaper Liberation, Altantuya was killed over Malaysia’s multi-billion ringgit purchase of submarines from European shipyard Armaris.

Liberation reported that she was the go-between for Razak Baginda in sealing the deal, for which he allegedly received a whopping RM540 million in commission.

Altantuya’s share was purportedly US$500,000 and she had returned to Malaysia to pester Razak Baginda for its payment. Najib was defence minister at the time the submarines were purchased.


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