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Thursday, July 20, 2017

CAN RAZAK BAGINDA ESCAPE? MORE ARRESTS, INDICTMENTS BY FRENCH PROSECUTORS TO COME IN SCORPENES CASE – NGO

SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA (SUARAM) and THE CENTRE TO COMBAT CORRUPTION & CRONYISM (C4 CENTER) congratulate the French magistrates and prosecutors over the indictments of high level persons involved corruption and kickbacks in the purchase of Scorpene Submarines by the Malaysian government in 2002.

This brings to 4 persons who have been already indicted in a long and ongoing probe by French magistrate Roger Le Loire and his team of prosecutors.

  1. Philip Japiot, the former chairman of French naval dockyard DCN International (abuse of social assets) July 2017 and

  2. Jean Paul Perrier former CEO of Thales, (complicity of abuse social assets) July 2017

Two previous indictments

  1. Bernard Baiocco (former President of Asian Division of Thales) (paying bribes to foreign public official) December 2015

  1. Dominique Castellan, former President of DCN International, (€30 million. Kickbacks transferred to Terasasi Hong Kong in November 2002).

Abdul Razak Baginda has been identified as the beneficial owner of Terasasi Hong Kong, having joint shareholding in the company with his father. Razak was instrumental in getting the Scorpene deal negotiated for the Malaysian government, being the adviser to then Defence Minister Najib Razak.

We understand from our French lawyers that several more indictments are expected, before the probe wraps up and is brought before an open court.

We are vindicated by these developments, despite the lengthy probe, now having reached 5 years since the investigations opened in 2012 following a judicial complaint by Suaram.

The previous assertions by the Malaysian governments that the procurement of the two submarines were above board appear callously false. The additional two indictments this week confirm our long held fears that grand corruption involving millions of dollars, has been committed via the procurement of this deal.

We strongly urge:

  1. That the Attorney General, Munhamed Apandi Ali reopen the case initiated by the MACC back in 2012, and allow the Mutual Legal Assistance as requested by France, to connect the dots and resolve the longstanding case once and for all. This commitment towards international cooperation as enshrined in the UN Anti Corruption Convention (UNCAC) and ratified by Malaysia in 2008, must be respected and its obligations met.

  1. Abdul Razak Baginda, the chief negotiator of the arms deal, now at the centre of the French probe, must offer his fullest cooperation to the French prosecution team, and the MACC to clarify his role and clear his name once and for all. It is no longer an option to remain silent and hope the case will go away.

  1. PM Najib Razak, who was then Defence Minister in 2002, to be courageous enough to explain at the coming Parliamentary session the various transactions including the alleged kickbacks amounting to Euro 114.9 million, the use of shell companies and clear his name of various corruption allegations.

  1. The Parliament to set up Royal Commission of Inquiry into the corruption on purchase of arms.

BACKGROUND

In 2002, Malaysia agreed to purchase for EUR 1 billion two Scorpène submarines from Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN, now renamed DCNS) of France and Navantia of Spain. Armaris, a joint-venture between DCN and Thales, would be the prime contractor for this sale while Navantia would serve as a design and industrial contracting partner. In 2007, Thales swapped its direct investment in the Armaris joint venture for a stake in DCN itself; since 2011, DCNS has been 35% owned by Thales. One of the Malaysian Scorpène submarines was produced in France, the other in Spain. A second-hand Agosta submarine was also included in the deal.

Released By

Sevan Doraisamy (Executive Director, SUARAM) 

Cynthia Gabriel (Executive Director, C4) \

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