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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Will a hit squad be sent to greet Bala in London next week?


With less than a week to go before a highly-anticipated meeting in London between Malaysian anti-graft officers and a private investigator who holds in the palm of his hand potentially lethal information about Prime Minister Najib Razak, speculation is red-hot that a "death squad" may be sent to assassinate him.

“My sixth sense told me that these MACC officers are not sent to London to interview Bala but could be on a mission to silence Bala and his lawyers in London. These are the so-called "Death Squad" sent by Najib. They are prepared for any eventuality, even to the extent of spending time in the London jail. The stakes are much too high for Najib to ignore. Dead man tells No Tale! This is what Najib wants!”

That was just one in a whole barrage of comments appearing on the Internet where stories about Najib, private eye P Balasubramaniam and their roles in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and Scorpene submarines scandal have been featured nearly non-stop every day since news of the unexpected meeting broke.

Will the MACC really go through with it?

Malaysians have just about given up on their authorities pursuing the case. Most people still believe the meeting will be aborted at the last minute because the information that Bala holds may be so momentous it could topple the ruling BN government, and even put Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor behind bars.

According to top blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the venue for the July 5th and 6th meeting (Monday and Tuesday) will take place at the Holiday Villa in London. Government-controlled newspapers have reported that three officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will finally meet Bala to record his statement.

The Malaysian authorities have been slow to accept Bala’s offer to help in investigations. Initially, the MACC gave excuses including insisting on meeting in nearby Singapore, where the government is perceived as being pro-Najib and may send its officers to intercept Bala.

The MACC also refused to allow Bala’s three lawyers to be present at their proposed meeting.

“Maybe this is what they want. They don’t really want to take Bala’s statement because they are worried about what he is going to say. Bala is also going to bring all sorts of documents, which include evidence of the money he was paid to change his Statutory Declaration and come out with the SD2 to reverse what he said in SD1,” Raja Petra said in his Monday posting entitled MACC Officers may face arrest in London.

Suspicious minds

However, according to the latest news reports, the MACC has now relented and will allow Bala to have a lawyer present. Its sudden acquiescence sparked instant suspicion, hence the swirl of rumors of a hit squad being rustled up to greet Bala.

In a letter to MACC investigator Supt Abdul Rahman Bachok made available to the press, Bala’s lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu said:

“You have said in your June 21 letter that MACC protocol does not allow a lawyer to be present when MACC officials take statements from witnesses. We want to inform you that we don’t agree with your view as our client has a right under the Constitution to have a lawyer of his choice when giving testimony and this overrides any protocol practiced by your office. So we will await your presence in London on July 5.”

In 2008, Bala shocked the nation with a statutory declaration (see below) that implicated Najib, Rosmah and their friend Razak Baginda in the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu. In his statutory declaration, Bala said Altantuya had been Najib's mistress before he passed her onto Baginda.

Bala was hired by Baginda to keep Altantuya from harassing him for money. The private eye also revealed that Altantuya was in Malaysia to collect her US$500,000 share of commission from a submarines deal Najib had entered into in 2002 with French firm DCNS.

But in less than 24 hours, Bala issued another statutory declaration retracting the first. He then disappeared, resurfacing only in late 2009, with an offer to help the MACC provided that they met in a ‘safe’ country.

Bala gave interviews and was recorded on video telling how and why he had to flee Malaysia for the safety of his family. He claimed he was offered RM5 million by Najib’s brother, Nazim Razak, and a business associate of Rosmah’s, Deepak Jaikishan, to keep silent and not to return to Malaysia.

courtesy of Malaysia Chronicle

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