Friday, November 13, 2009

PI Bala claims offered RM5m to retract statement


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — Missing private investigator P. Balasubramaniam has claimed in a video clip that he was offered RM5 million to retract his statutory declaration that linked Datuk Seri Najib Razak to murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu, reigniting allegations that the prime minister has vehemently denied.

Balasubramaniam's claims were aired in an undated 88-second video clip today hosted by the website whose main contributor is the fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin. The first statutory declaration (SD) was also put up with the video clip.

"Deepak actually came to see me because he want me to retract my first SD... After that he offered me RM5 million for me to retract the SD," Balasubramaniam said in the video clip, referring to a person whom Raja Petra says is linked to Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Balasubramaniam, a former police officer, disappeared with his family on July 4, 2008 after making a second SD that overturned the first declaration. His location remains unknown until now.

The website said there will be more video clips featuring the Balasubramaniam interview. In the first part, the private investigator also claimed he was asked to go to Putrajaya to meet certain individuals over his SD.

"He was asking me to go to Putrajaya with him but he never mentioned whom he wanted me to meet in Putrajaya," Balasubramaniam said, referring to the country's administrative capital.

Balasubramaniam's two SDs had rocked the murder trial of Altantuya, who was killed on Oct 19, 2006. Three people, including political and defence strategist Abdul Razak Baginda, were arrested for plotting her death.

Abdul Razak, who admitted to an affair with the Mongolian model who also acted as an interpreter, claimed he did not order her death but wanted the policemen to stop her from harassing or blackmailing him over their affair.

He was acquitted without his defence being called while the two policemen charged, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, were sentenced to the gallows for killing her.

Balasubramaniam was initially hired by Abdul Razak to keep watch over Altantuya's movements when she was in Kuala Lumpur to allegedly blackmail the political strategist, who is a known close associate of then Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Najib.

His first SD was announced in a press conference with opposition leaders on July 2, 2008 but a day later, he stunned the country when a different lawyer brandished a second SD that overturned the contents of the first declaration.

Balasubramaniam then went missing, according to his nephew who claims his uncle is now in an undisclosed location.


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