04 July, 2008

The circus has come to town.

PI’s account: Anwar shaking hands with Balasubramaniam at the press conference organised by PKR yesterday. With them are the PI’s lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu (left) and Sivarasa.

(Image from The Star)


Its a farce !! Who should Malaysians believe anymore ?

The Najib-Altantuya Shaariibuu case took a dramatic turn today when the private investigator who made startling allegations about the Deputy Prime Minister’s relations with the Mongolian model retracted his statutory declaration:

"I wish to expressly state that at no material time did (Abdul) Razak (Abdullah) Baginda inform me that he was introduced to Altantuya Shaariibuu by a VIP and at no material time did Razak Baginda inform me that Datuk Seri Najib had a sexual relationship with Altantuya Shaaribu and that she was susceptible to anal intercourse.

"At no material time did Razak Baginda inform me that Datuk Seri Najib instructed Razak Baginda to look after Altantuya Shaariibuu as he did not want her to harass him since he was the Deputy Prime Minister.

"At no material time did Razak Baginda and or Altantuya Shaariibuu inform me that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, together with Razak Baginda and Altantuya Shaariibuu, had met and all been together at a dinner in Paris;

"At no material time did Altantuya Shaariibuu inform me that she wanted money in the sum of US$500,000 as a commission for a submarine deal she assisted with in Paris;

"At no time whatsoever did Razak Baginda and/or Altantuya Shaariibuu inform me that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak met with Altantuya Shaariibuu in Singapore;

"At no time whatsoever did Altantuya Shaariibuu inform me that she wanted me to arrange to see Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak;

"At no time did I tell the police during the course of their investigations about any relationship between Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak andAltantuya Shaariibuu as no such relationship existed to my knowledge. Accordingly, the statement I signed before the police is complete;

"At no time did Razak Baginda inform me that he had sent Datuk Seri Najib an SMS the evening before he was arrested; and

"At no time did Razak Baginda inform me that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had sent him an SMS on the day of his arrest to the effect that he was going to see the IGP (Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan) that day and that the matter should be resolved and for Razak Baginda to remain calm."


Evidence allegedly linking Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to murdered Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu will be released in the next few days.

“The next evidence will come in the next few days. Just be patient. This is not the end. I just want to test the nerve and commitment of the Prime Minister,”

said PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.


“Did Datuk Seri Najib lie when he said he had never met Altantuya before? Did Datuk Seri Najib lie when he said that he was not involved in any commission deals for the purchase of the Scorpene submarines,” he said.

Anwar alleged the revelations showed a “clear and consistent pattern of abuse of power and manipulation of the criminal justice system” which was evident during his case back in 1998 and this time too it involved the same people – Najib, A-G Tan Sri Gani Patail and IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

“These are serious implications for the administration of justice in the country where institutions like the police, A-G’s office and judiciary are already tarnished,” he said, calling for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry.


Malaysians are facing a quandary: just who or what should they believe in anymore?

Should they believe P. Balasubramaniam of July 3, who tossed a confetti of allegations against Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a statutory declaration.

Or should they believe P. Balasubramaniam of July 4, who retracted the explosive allegations and said that he had been acting under duress when he told the whole world that Abdul Razak Baginda told him that Najib had a sexual relationship with Altantuya Shaariibuu.





PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BY AMERICK SINGH SIDHU

4 July 2008, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

I have been made to understand that Mr. Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal has issued a statutory declaration at a press conference held at the Prince Hotel at 11.00 am this morning, retracting his earlier statutory declaration affirmed on the 1st July 2008.

The reason given for this retraction is that his original statutory declaration, recorded by myself, was “compelled to be affirmed under duress”.

No details of this alleged compulsion and duress have been put forth. Mr. Bala is reported as not answering when asked this morning in his press conference who was it who intimidated him.

For the record, I confirm that the statutory declaration affirmed by Mr.Bala on 1st July 2008 which he released yesterday was affirmed voluntarily before a commissioner for oaths Dr. T. Yokheswarem and in my presence.

I first met Mr. Bala in the presence of a few other persons in a restaurant about two months ago where he asked me to assist with preparing a formal document incorporating some evidence that had not been presented in the ongoing Altantuya trial. I started the process about two weeks after that. I would have met him a few times where I recorded in long hand, what Mr. Bala told me.

I have had no reason to doubt what Mr. Bala told me as being anything other than the truth and my role was confined to listening to what he had to say, recording the same, and transcribing it into a statutory declaration in a systematic and comprehensible format.

This statutory declaration was then attested before the above said commissioner of oaths, Dr. T. Yokheswarem in my presence, and of course in the presence of Mr. Bala. The contents of this statutory declaration were read in front of this commissioner of oaths who enquired from Mr. Bala whether he understood the contents and whether that was his declaration. After Mr. Bala confirmed the same, he was asked to sign 3 copies and the commissioner attested each copy. Mr. Bala was asked to produce his NRIC to the commissioner and then signed the commissioners recording book.

I am therefore extremely surprised that Mr. Bala, in the space of 24 hours, has engaged the services of another lawyer and affirmed another statutory declaration swearing the first one was untrue and that he was forced to sign it.

As I am familiar with the character of Mr. Bala having spent hours with him recording his statement, I am very skeptical that he has signed the second statutory declaration of his own free will and I am convinced he has been intimidated to do so by either threats or promises, as I can think of no other reason.

The commissioner of oaths who attested the first statutory declaration is prepared to confirm what I have stated above as far as the voluntariness of Mr. Bala’s statutory declaration is concerned.

In fact Mr. Bala recognized the commissioner as soon as he saw him as both apparently grew up in the same neighbourhood in Slim River, which is something I had no knowledge of.

AMERICK SINGH SIDHU



PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BY SIVARASA RASIAH

4 July 2008, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia


Yesterday, in this very room, in the presence of many of you here again today, Mr. Bala Subramanian released a Statutory Declaration which gave evidence of criminal suppression of evidence and perjury in the Altantuya murder case. In front of dozens of persons, Mr. Bala stood by his sworn statement, but in an answer to a question he acknowledged his fear for his personal security due to the power and position of those he has implicated. I am very troubled that last night, one way or another, and true to Mr. Bala’s concerns, another crime was committed. The crime was something which caused Mr. Bala this morning to retract the statements he made on Tues 1st July 2008 and revealed publicly yesterday. In particular we have taken notice that line by line the specific statements that were revised in Bala’s new statement have selectively removed those which specifically implicate the Deputy Prime Minister by name.
This sorry episode confirms again what Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday - that there is a consistent pattern of manipulation of the criminal justice system in this country. Last night witnessed yet another instance of manipulation of evidence relevant to the most significant murder trial in recent times.

We are fully satisfied that the first statutory declaration by Mr. Bala was voluntary and with the intention the truth should no longer be hidden from the public – that it was important for us to know the secrets he had carried with him since October /November 2006. Our confidence in the original declaration is based on the information given to us by Mr. Americk Singh Sidhu and our observation of Mr. Bala himself. For the record, his SD was first shown to us on Wednesday 2 July, one day after it was attested to with his attorney on Tuesday the 1st.
Now the key question arises – which of these two statutory declarations represents the truth? This is the question that the Royal Commission we called for yesterday must immediately deal with first.

The fact that the retraction was done so speedily and in circumstances where Mr. Bala says it was made under duress but will not name who pressured him speak for themselves.

Who would have a motive to send Mr. Bala to make such damaging allegations against the police, the AG’s Chamber and Datuk Seri Najib with the idea that he would then withdraw it the next day to attempt to embarrass us? It’s difficult to think of anyone.

Who however would have a motive to intimidate Mr.Bala last night to retract his statement immediately? Obviously, from the contents of his first statutory declaration, a number of people would have that interest.

We demand that a Royal Commission be established to investigate the key question stated above – which of these two statutory declarations represents the truth?

This issue must also be ventilated in the Altantuya trial by all parties there so that the truth is established. In fact, the prosecution is now duty-bound to reinvestigate all of Mr.Bala’s allegations.

SIVARASA RASIAH
Vice President, Parti Keadilan Rakyat

(Source: Anwar Ibrahim blog)

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