Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says that there has been no evidence to suggest that the document has been sold.
In a Berita Harian report today, Ahmad Zahid said there has been no evidence to show the sale occurred.
“There is no evidence to show that it happened. However, I give the assurance that we will investigate thoroughly if this activity is proven because it involves national security,” he said.
But the minister also said:“However, it is indeed detected that the information has gone out [of Malaysia], however we are currently monitoring its development.”
Zahid also took a swipe at the opposition for its tendency to reveal confidential government information and raise sensitive issues just to attract the raykat’s attention.
“He (PKR deputy president Azmin Ali) previously claimed to have in his possession boxes and boxes of secret government files and is waiting to reveal them.
“It has been years, where are all these files? Why until now you have not exposed them?” he asked.
On May 31, FMT reported that a highly-confidential government document — an evaluation by the Malaysian Navy of the Scorpene-class submarine and contract details — was allegedly sold to a French defence company for 36 million euros (RM142 million).
This claim was made by Suaram, which initiated the now ongoing French judicial inquiry to look into corruption allegations surrounding the submarine deal.
Suaram said the secret document was sold by Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd to French defence giant DCNS, ostensibly for “commercial engineering” works.
This was among the major issues that the French investigative judge probing the case lodged by Suaram against Paris-owned shipmaker DCNS for alleged corruption, is looking at.
According to French lawyer acting for Suaram, Joseph Breham, the French judge inquired what those payments were and demanded reports of financial transactions.
The lawyer said it was even possible that Thales, a subsidiary of DCN, decided to pay the money to obtain the classified document so that it could better its bid for the project.
The lawyer also said that the sale of the secret document could also amount to high treason.
Hong Kong-based Terasasi’s directors include Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s close ally Abdul Razak Baginda and the latter’s father Abdul Malim Baginda.
The secret document was allegedly sold to Thales International, also known as Thint Asia, which is a subsidiary of DCN (later known as DCNS).
DCNS is the company central in the legal suit filed by Suaram in 2009 in the French courts, which recently commenced a judicial inquiry at the Tribunal De Grande Instance in Paris.
The inquiry revolves around the RM7.3 billion deal to purchase two Scorpene submarines with DCNS and Spainish Navantia in 2002, when Najib was defence minister. Suaram’s complaint was based on the claim of corruption for a payment amounting to 114 million euros from DCNS to Perimekar.
Perimekar is also directly linked to Razak Baginda who was acquitted of abetting in the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu; while two of Najib’s former bodyguards were convicted for the murder.
Suaram had previously claimed that French prosecutors’ had found a document indicating that Najib had sought a US$1 billion (RM3 billion) “condition” for a meeting between French company DCNI (a subsidiary of DCN) and him in 2001. The sum was said to be for Perimekar’s “stay in France.”
Amid pressure from the opposition, particularly PKR, for the government to come clean on the claims, Najib, who faces the possibility of being subpoenaed to the French courts, had remained silent.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the Navy had also recently declined to comment.