Wednesday, April 18, 2012
French Scorpene inquiry kicks off tomorrow
The French inquiry into alleged corruption in the purchase of two Scorpene class submarines by the Malaysian government in 2001, will commence tomorrow at the Paris Tribunal Grande Instance.
Human rights NGO Suaram said that, among names that it intends to include in the list of individuals who can assist in the inquiry are Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Suaram director Kua Kia Soong (right), secretariat member Cynthia Gabriel and lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri will give witnesses statements as to why the NGO filed the case in 2010.
The case will be conducted before Judge Roger Le Loire and Judge Serge Tournaire. French litigators William Bourdon and Joseph Breham will act on Suaram's behalf.
Also to be suggested as a witness is Setev Shaariibuu, father of Mongolian national and interpreter Altantuya, whose 2006 murder is believed to linked to the purchase of the submarines.
“Suaram hopes that, with the commencement of the case in France, we can send a clear message that Malaysians will not sit back and look at corrupt politicians and rampant corruption activities in Malaysia,” the NGO said in a statement today.
The inquiry is into alleged kickbacks paid by French defence manufacturer DCNS to companies belonging to political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda for the Malaysian submarine purchases.
Abdul Razak, a close associate of Najib, was acquitted of abetting two police personnel in Altantuya’s murder.