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Photos of Altantuya in Paris add to mystery

 | June 26, 2012

A news report says that in 2007, photographs of Altantuya Shaariibuu in Paris were published by a Hong Kong-based news portal.

PETALING JAYA: The question of whether murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu had visited France continues to be shrouded in mystery.

While FMT reported that clasiffied police documents show that she never entered France between 1996 and 2006, Malaysiakini noted that a Hong Kong-based news portal had published photographs of her in Paris.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a political analyst pointed out that just because the records do not show her entering France, it did not mean that she was not there.

“Strange things can happen when it involves people of power,” he told FMT.

“But one thing is for certain: the ‘curse’ of that slain woman continues to haunt Malaysia, and more importantly, [Prime Minister] Najib [Tun Razak],” he said.

Malaysiakini reported that in 2007 news portal Asia Sentinel had published a series of photographs depicting Altantuya in Paris, among others, posing in front of the Notre Dame Chatedral.

The photos had been made available to the news portal by Syed Abdul Rahman Al-Habshi, the former honourary Mongolian consul-general in Malaysia, who had declined to reveal where the pictures came from.

However, in an Asia Sentinel article published on Dec 5, 2007, it was stated that the photos were believed to have been found among Altantuya’s possessions after she was killed.

The FMT report published yesterday was based on confidential investigative documents submitted to the French judicial inquiry looking into alleged kickbacks paid out in the 2002 Scorpene submarine deal between French firm DCNS and the Malaysian government.

The report noted that the revelation raised a red flag on the existence of a photograph of the Mongolian woman, Najib and his close ally, Abdul Razak Baginda in Paris, allegedly taken between 2004 and 2006.

The alleged photograph was made known at the murder trial of Altantuya during the testimony of her cousin Burmaa Oyunchimeg, who had accompanied Altantuya to Kuala Lumpur to purportedly extort money from Razak Baginda, with whom she was romantically involved with.

The FMT report also stated that Altantuya did not speak French and therefore could not have acted as an interpreter with regard to the Scorpene deal.

Two police special action squad personnel, who were Najib’s former bodyguards, were charged with the gruesome murder of Altantuya.

Razak Baginda was initally charged with abetting the murder, but was later acquitted.

The opposition had never ceased to attack Najib over this issue despite the premier’s repeated denials of having any links with Altantuya or the murder.

(Photo courtesy of Asia Sentinel.)

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