Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mystery man in Altantuya saga

S D Idid
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 02:50

KUALA LUMPUR - When private investigator P Balasubramaniam made his statutory declaration in connection with the Altantuya Shariibuu murder, he mentioned ‘a man in a blue Proton Saga.’

The police claimed the man was just another resident in the Damansara Heights neighbourhood who happened to be driving pass the home of defence analyst Abdul Razak Baginda at that time, which was a day before Altantuya was reported missing on Oct 19, 2006.

Fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, however, has alleged that the ‘mystery man’ was none other than Nasir Safar, the special advisor to the Prime Minister who recently caused a storm with his offensive remarks about the early Indian and Chinese immigrants who left their home shores to come to work and settle in Malaysia.

“Nasir has been asked to resign for calling the early Indian immigrants beggars and the Chinese prostitutes. But that is not the icing on the cake.

“The icing on the cake is that Nasir was the man mentioned in item 30 of PI Bala’s statutory declaration,” Raja Petra said in his column, Corridors of Power in the Malaysia Today news portal.

The paragraph concerned reads:

“Azilah asked me whether the woman was Aminah and I said ‘Yes’. He then walked off and made a few calls on his handphone. After 10 minutes another vehicle, a blue Proton Saga, driven by a Malay man, passed by slowly. The driver’s window had been wound down and the driver was looking at us.”

'Aminah' was Altantuya

To recap, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri was one of the two policemen who were tried for the murder of Altantuya, a Mongolian woman who allegedly had an affair with Abdul Razak, a defence analyst from the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre.

The other cop was Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar.

‘Aminah’ was a name used by Altantuya when she came to Malaysia to look for Abdul Razak, allegedly to demand her commission for assisting in a submarine deal in Paris. The sum she had reportedly asked for was US$500,000.

Among the claims that Bala made in his statutory declaration was that Altantuya told him several things about her relationship with Abdul Razak, including meeting him with (then deputy minister) Najib Abdul Razak in Singapore. She later met them at a dinner in Paris.

Bala claimed that the Mongolian woman also told him she was promised US$500,000 as commission for assisting in the submarine deal.

She allegedly told Bala about a house that Abdul Razak bought for her and about her mother who was sick and needed money for treatment.

She had allegedly also told the private investigator that she and Abdul Razak had married in Korea.

Bala further claimed: “After talking to Aminah for about 15 minutes, a red Proton Aeroback arrived with a woman and two men.

“I now know the woman to be L/Cpl Rohaniza and the men, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azahar. They were all in plain clothes. Azilah walked towards me while the other two stayed in the car.

“ Azilah asked me whether the woman was Aminah and I said ‘Yes’. He then walked off and made a few calls on his handphone. After 10 minutes another vehicle, a blue Proton Saga, driven by a Malay man, passed by slowly. The driver’s window had been wound down and the driver was looking at us.

“ Azilah then informed me they would be taking Aminah away. I informed Aminah they were arresting her. The other two persons then got out of the red Proton and exchanged seats so that L/Cpl Rohaniza and Aminah were in the back while the two men were in the front. They drove off and that is the last I ever saw of Aminah.”

'Yes, that man was Nasir'

Raja Petra is convinced the man driving the blue car was Nasir.

“Yes, that man in the blue Proton Saga was Nasir Safar.

“But the police, who took Bala’s statement, denied it and said that it was a resident from that area and not Nasir.

“How did the police know this immediately without any further investigation and without taking Nasir’s statement?

“Now, why would the Prime Minister’s special officer be at the scene of the crime? Was it to see for himself that Altantuya is arrested and quickly disposed off?” he asked.

“Yes, the plot thickens. First it was Najib’s ADC, Musa Safri. Then it was Rosmah’s ADC, Norhayati Hassan, and her husband, Abdul Aziz Buyong.

“And now we have Nasir Safar, who drove past Razak Baginda’s house very slowly, possibly to ensure that Altantuya, who was making a nuisance of herself, is picked up.”

Raja Petra asked: “Would Najib like to challenge us on this?

“He can if he so wishes. Then, Bala’s lawyer can arrange for the witness to testify to the MACC (Malaysian AntiCorruption Commission) in London, as what they (Bala and lawyer) offered to d.

She worked as a translator

According to testimony in the trial of Abdul Razak, the murdered woman accompanied him to Paris at a time when Malaysia's Defence ministry was negotiating through a Malaysian company to buy two Scorpene submarines and a used Agosta submarine produced by the French government under a French-Spanish joint venture, Armaris.

Altantuya had reportedly worked as Abdul Razak’s translator when he was brokering for the Malaysian government

She went missing on Oct 19, 2006 and a report was lodged by her cousin,who also sought help from the Mongolian embassy in Bangkok.

The Malaysian police found fragments of bone, later verified as Altantuya’s , in forested land near the Subang Dam in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam.

Police investigation of her remains revealed that she was shot twice before C-4 explosives were used on her remains, although there has been later suggestion that the C-4 explosives may have killed her.

When her remains were found their identity could only be confirmed with DNA testing. The provenance of the C-4 remains unclear.

On Oct 31, 2008 the High Court acquitted Abdul Razak of abetment in the murder of Altantuya, with the prosecution saying they would appeal the acquittal.

However the Attorney General's office had decided not to file an appeal against Razak’s acquittal.

Verdict aftefr 159-day trial

On 14 Sept, 2009 Altantuya's father, Dr Shaariibuu Setev, withdrew his bid to force the A-G to appeal against Abdul Razak’s acquittal, after being advised that it would be a long, costly and difficult affair.[

Wrapping up the 159-day trial on April 9, 2009, High Court Judge Zaki Yasin ruled that Azilah and Sirul both guilty of murdering Altantuya and sentenced them to death.

In a statutory declaration in his sedition trial in June 2008, Raja Petra accused the PM’s wife, Rosmah Mansor of being one of three individuals who were present at the crime scene when Altantuya was murdered.

The two others allegedly present were her aide-de-camp Norhayati Hassan and her husband, Col Aziz Buyong.

Both the husband and wife are suing Raja Petra for defamation. His current whereabouts is unknown but he is believed to be abroad. - Malaysian Mirror

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