13 January, 2010

MACC eager to hear from private investigator P Balasubramaniam ?

MACC is prepared to go overseas to question him over his barrage of allegations relating to the murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu.

"For us, Balasubramaniam is the main witness. We are prepared for it (the questioning) anywhere, even abroad," newly-appointed MACC chief Abu Kassim Mohamed.

The PI, who was working for political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, had caused a stir in 2008 when he made a statutory declaration which implicated Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak (at that time the deputy PM and defence minister) in the case.

The controversy took a dramatic turn within 24 hours when Bala retracted the statutory declaration and fled the country with his family.

Abu Kassim said Bala needed to come forward to give his statement as the main witness in order for comprehensive investigations to be carried out.

“We are prepared to meet him anywhere ... there are no problems facilitating the meeting, back home or abroad, we will agree (to the meeting),” he told a press conference here Wednesday.

Bala went missing on July 4, 2008 but resurfaced in a video interviewe aired on the Malaysia Today website last November in which he dropped a series of bombshells that included a claim that he was offered RM5mil to retract the statement.

Bala also alleged that his family was threatened; that he received RM750,000 and RM800,000 from certain parties on separate occasions and was forced to issue the second declaration negating the first.

Altantuya, a 28-year old model and translator, was blown up by military explosives in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam in 2006. The gory murder shocked the world.

Two former police officers, who were once bodyguards of Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, have been sentenced to hang for her killing, but Razak, who was charged with abetting the two cops – was acquitted without his defence being called.

Bala was hired by Razak to keep watch over Altantuya's movements when she was in Kuala Lumpur to allegedly blackmail the political strategist.

French newspaper Liberation reported that Altantuya's murder was connected to Malaysia’s multi-billion ringgit purchase of Scorpene submarines from European shipyard Armaris.

Liberation reported that the Mongolian woman was the go-between for Razak in sealing the deal, for which he allegedly received a whopping RM540mil in commission.

Altantuya’s share was purportedly US$500,000 (RM1.7mil) and she had returned to Malaysia to pester Razak for the payment.

Razak has admitted that he knew Altantuya while Bala, in his earlier statutory declaration, stated that she had also known Najib.The PM has denied ever knowing her.

- Malaysian Mirror

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