Scorpene scandal: France subpoenas Baginda’s aide

K Pragalath | June 16, 2012
Jasbir Singh, a 'central figure' in the Scorpene deal has agreed to cooperate with French judiciary, said Suaram director Cynthia Gabriel.
PETALING JAYA: A right hand man of defence analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, Jasbir Singh Chahl, is the first Malaysian to be subpoenaed as witness in the Scorpene case hearing curently underway in France.
“Jasbir Singh is a central figure in the negotiation and procument process.
“He is the first person to be served with a subpoena,” said Suaram director Cynthia Gabriel during Suaram’s Ops Scorpene fund raising dinner held at Petaling Jaya Civic Centre last night.
Gabriel claimed that Jasbir would be required to cooperate and reveal information on what had transpired in the Scorpene submarine deal that was purchased in 2002 via French submarine maker DCNS.
“He has confirmed that he would cooperate with the panel and the subpoena is being sent to his house,” Gabriel told the more than the 1,000-strong crowd present.
“The story will now come from the horse’s mouth,” Gabriel said on the purchase of two Scorpene submarines from French shipbuilding company DCNS in 2002.
Suaram lodged a complaint in November 2009 with the French courts asking for a judicial review into the Scorpene contract. The ongoing   judicial inquiry at the Tribunal De Grande Instance in Paris is a result of this complaint.
The inquiry is probing alleged corruption crimes and illegal bribes involving top officials from both Malaysia and France.
The amount of money transferred to Perimekar Sdn Bhd is 550 million euros and Terasasi received 150 million euros.

Najib, Zahid, Bala also subpoenaed
Back in 2002, the Defence Ministry was led by current Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
Gabriel also revealed that the two companies had used third countries within Europe to receive the payments.
This was done to avoid Organisation for Economic and Social Development (OECD) rules that made the transactions a crime.
“The payment to Malta included an invoice for Razak and (murdered Mongolian model and translator) Altantuya (Shaarriibbuu).
“Investigations are ongoing to determine whether it is Najib Razak or Abdul Razak Baginda,” added Gabriel.
Aside from Malta that acted as third countries for transactions to take place, Gabriel also revealed the other third countries as Luxemborg, Belgium and Ireland.
Meanwhile Subang MP R Sivarasa revealed the names of others who would also be served with a subpoena notice.
They are Najib, Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi, private investigator P Balasubramaniam, Razak Baginda, Razak’s wife Mazlinda Makhzan and Razak’s father, Abdul Malim Baginda.
Both Razak and Malim are Terasasi directors. Razak is also director of Perimekar with Mazlinda.

BN silent on issue
In a related development the prominent human rights organisation also rubbished allegations that they were tools of PKR especially due to the fact that many Suaram key members were PKR members as well.
“We are alleged to be political and not independent. We invite members of the opposition because they are consistent in addressing this issue (Scorpene scandal) in parliament and they are committed for the cause.
“We have no problem if anyone from BN or any other polittical parties raises the corruption in this scandal to the public without prejudice but no one from the BN government has done so. Zero reaction,” said Suaram’s executive director, E Nalini.
She said this in response to queries on Suaram’s independence as well as allegations that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was using Suaram to discredit the government.
She also brushed the detractors as “a drop in the ocean” that would not be able to side track Suaram from pursuing the truth.
“You can insult, slander and try to discredit all of us here, but, what is important for Suaram is the truth. Upholding human rights is our only priority,” Nalini said.

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