PI: Cops left out vital info

KUALA LUMPUR: Police omitted pertinent information allegedly linking Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak with the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case, claimed private investigator P. Balasubramaniam in a statutory declaration.

Balasubramaniam declared he had informed police what Abdul Razak Baginda had purportedly told him prior to Altantuya’s murder.

He revealed yesterday the content of the statutory declaration at a press conference organised by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim together with PKR office bearers, MPs and lawyers at the party’s headquarters in Tropicana, just outside Kuala Lumpur.

He said Razak had told him that he was introduced to Altantuya by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a diamond exhibition in Singapore and that Najib had told him that he (Najib) and Altantuya had had a sexual relationship and that “she was susceptible to anal intercourse”.

Balasubramaniam said Razak had also told him that Najib had asked him (Razak) “to look after” Altantuya, who was also known as “Aminah”, because he did not want her to harass him now that he was the Deputy Prime Minister.

He claimed Razak had told him that Altantuya had wanted money as she felt entitled to a US$500,000 (RM1.65mil) commission from a submarine deal that she had assisted the Malaysian Government secure in Paris; and that Najib, Razak and Altantuya all had dinner together in Paris.

Balasubramaniam said the day Razak was arrested for abetting in the murder of Altantuya, he (Balasubramaniam) was with Razak at a lawyer’s office where Razak showed him Najib’s SMS which he received while they were both in the office.

Najib’s message to Razak supposedly said: “I am seeing the IGP at 11am today … matter will be solved … be cool.”

“I was sitting just beside Razak and he told me he had sent an SMS to Najib and never received a reply. Then he received the reply. He showed me the reply and also to the lawyer,” Balasubramaniam said

PKR said it was Balasubramaniam who approached them about the Altantuya case and not the other way around.

Altantuya was murdered between Oct 19 and Oct 20, 2006 and her body blown up using C4 explosives.

Razak is on trial for abetting with the murder while two police officers Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar and C/Insp Azilah Hadri are charged with her murder.

Balasubramaniam said Razak had given him all this information about Najib “in an attempt to persuade me to continue my employment with him”.

He alleged that the police however omitted all this information in his police statement made in November 2006 but he signed it anyway because after being in the lock-up for seven days he just wanted to go home.

“If you have experienced being in a lock-up, definitely you will sign the statement. I have three children (to think about).

”I was arrested under (Section) 302 (for murder). What’s the reason? In the first place there was no reason for the police to put me in the lock-up. They can call me anytime to take a statement. I was the private investigator for Razak,” he said.

Balasubramaniam was a former police officer who joined the force in 1981. He resigned in 1998 when he was with the Special Branch and has been working as a freelance private investigator since then.

He was first employed by Razak in June 2006 for 10 days and again in October the same year.

Balasubramaniam’s lawyer Americk Sidhu said his client decided to come up with his statutory declaration after the prosecution closed the Altantuya case on June 23.

“He was waiting for the prosecution to bring up the evidence and was very surprised that this matter was not raised,” he said.

Sidhu said Balasubramaniam did not say anything about the information Razak shared with him on Najib and Altantuya in court when he testified in the Altantuya trial because the prosecution did not question him about it.

He also stressed that Balasubramaniam’s statutory declaration was “not a statement of truth” but rather what had been said to him by Razak and Altantuya.

“Whether true or not – he doesn’t know for sure. He just told what was told to him,” he said, adding that the purpose of the press conference was to bring to light that “there is this evidence available”.

“And if the prosecution wants to use it, Bala is available at anytime,” he said.

In his statutory declaration, Balasubramaniam also said that Razak had told him that Altantuya was a great liar and good at convincing people.

He said when he met Altantuya, she, too, told him that she met Razak and Najib in Singapore, and that they had dinner in Paris and that she was promised US$500,000 as commission for assisting in the submarine deal. She also told him that Razak had bought her a house in Mongolia but her brother had refinanced it and she needed money to redeem her home.

Balasubramaniam claimed that Altantuya had also told him that Razak had married her in South Korea and asked if Balasubramaniam could arrange for her to see Najib while she was in Malaysia.

Balasubramaniam said that on Oct 20 after Altantuya had gone missing, two of her friends showed up at Razak’s home asking where she was. He added that they came back a few days later convinced that she was being held in his house.

Following a commotion outside Razak’s house, he said, he called the police, as well as Razak to inform him of what was happening outside his front gate. He said Razak told him a DSP Musa Safri would call him back on his handphone and to pass that call to the inspector from Dang Wangi police station.

He said he did that and following the call, which lasted three to four minutes, the inspector told the two girls to leave and come see him the next day.

Balasubramaniam said he wanted to bring to notice the strong possibility that there were individuals other than the three accused involved in the murder and that he was disappointed at the standard of investigation conducted by the authorities.

He also wanted to persuade the relevant authorities to reopen their investigation so that fresh evidence may be presented.

To a question, Balasubramaniam said now that he had come out with the statutory declaration, he was worried for his personal safety.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/7/4/nation/21736954&sec=nation

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