Hornbill Unleashed

August 2, 2017

Probe Razak Baginda here over Scorpene deal, civil society groups, politicians say

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Probe Razak Baginda here over Scorpene deal, civil society groups, politicians sayCivil Society groups and politicians are calling on authorities to investigate Abdul Razak Baginda, a former aide of Prime Minister Najib Razak when he was defence minister, over the Scorpene submarine deal. France has charged Razak on July 18 and four other executives involved in the deal have been charged since the investigation began in 2010.

MALAYSIAN authorities who choose to ignore the Scorpene submarine deal, especially after Abdul Razak Baginda was charged with graft in France, would be deemed to be under the thumb of Putrajaya, civil society groups and a politician said.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must investigate the case immediately, they said, adding that it would look odd and shameful if Malaysia did not take action while France had proceeded to charge several people.

The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel said there should be no more excuses from the Malaysian authorities anymore.

“The MACC must open investigations now. No more excuses as we repeat our call for the Attorney-General (Mohamed Apandi Ali) to cooperate with the French prosecutors to resolve the case, and bring to book the culprits,” Gabriel told The Malaysian Insight.

She said Prime Minister Najib Razak must also answer questions raised on the Scorpene submarine deal as he was defence minister at that time.

“The matter must be brought to Parliament. If the investigations are not done then it will show that the authorities are not independent as they claim.”

Gabriel was commenting on France charging Razak over alleged kickbacks in the 2002 sale of submarines to Malaysia.

AFP had reported that Razak was charged in France on July 18 with “active and passive complicity in corruption” and “misappropriation of corporate assets”, a French judicial source said.

The French investigation was launched in 2010 in response to a complaint from Malaysian rights group Suaram.

Gabriel, who was then Suaram executive director, said the complaint was filed through their French lawyers at that time.

“We went to France after the prosecution there had opened an investigation in 2012,” she said.

Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy welcomed the French authorities’ persistence in bringing the issue to court.

“The French has taken action against Razak and it is odd and shameful if we don’t do anything.

“If nothing is done, then it is the failure of the attorney-general and MACC,” he said.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil also said that the MACC should investigate Razak and any other individuals related to the purchase of the submarines, including Najib.

“If there are any elements of corruption then those involved will have to be brought to court.

“Malaysians do not want to see another 1MDB case where investigations and prosecutions take place in other countries on the mismanagement of 1MDB’s funds, but there is no prosecution in Malaysia.”

Razak was an adviser to Najib when he was defence minister between 2000 and 2008.

Najib oversaw the deal, worth nearly €1 billion (RM5 billion), to buy two Scorpene-class submarines and one Agosta-class submarine from French naval dockyards unit DCN, which is linked to French defence group Thales.

The Malaysian government has said that the contract was free of corruption.

French investigators are also looking into allegations that €114 million was paid to a purported Malaysia-based shell company, Perimekar, as part of the deal. That company was controlled, at the time, by Razak’s wife.

Since the investigation began, four French defence industry executives have been charged.

They are two former chairmen of DCNI, Philippe Japiot and Dominique Castellan, and two former heads of Thint Asia, Bernard Baiocco and Jean-Paul Perrier.

All four men denied the charges against them.

Source : The Malaysian Insight by Noel Achariam



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