KUALA LUMPUR: Businessman Deepak Jaikishan, who said he “can’t get the ghost of Altantuya out of me”, yesterday promised to reveal more details on the behind-the-scenes dealings surrounding the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
But said that he required protection for himself first as he would be talking about the “prime minister and his family”.
In a press conference he called yesterday, Deepak, a well-connected carpet dealer, said he is appearing now to clear his conscience as “the ghost of Altantuya continues to haunt” him.
He said that he had suffered in his business and mentally after he got himself involved with arranging for the second Statutory Declaration (SD) for private investigator P Balasubramaniam on the behest of a “female friend”.
The second SD reversed an earlier one which had directly linked prime minister Najib Tun Razak to the Altantuya murder.
“I can’t get the ghost of Altantuya out of me. It is bothering me. I want to come clean, I want to apologise to her that I was trying to conceal the fact that I was involved in facilitating the second SD,” he said.
“I want justice for her. I want the people responsible to be incriminated, given appropriate sentences. Whoever actually killed her and instructed it, they must take the responsibility.”
When asked if he had direct knowledge of who instructed the killing, Deepak said he did not.
However, he revealed more details surrounding the reason why he was roped in to help facilitate a second SD in such a hurry.
‘Police have all the evidence’
“Everybody knew there was a second SD, but why was there this urgency for it to be done the next day, and not the next week?”
“The SD was not just about the opposition. There was a concentrated effort of two factions here. You had Bala sitting down with Anwar and you had another faction who didn’t want the people named in the first SD to come to power. They were determined, although they were from different sides, to work together to achieve this. Both had the power to do this,” he said, adding that the other side came from Umno itself.
He said that the side that wanted to push for the second SD and overturn the original SD was the one that protected or ensured that Najib became prime minister.
“I got involved in the second SD to protect the interest of Najib. There is no other logical reason, is there?” he said.
Deepak said that if the police were serious about solving the case, they would be able to. “They have all the evidence already, it’s whether they want to or not.”
He said the faction supporting Najib was not so much worried about the contents of the first SD, but the subsequent repercussions.
“[As a result of the first SD], there were people involved in the actual act… one of these persons was going to come out and admit that he was involved [in the Altantuya incident] and who had instructed him. They [faction supporting Najib] were worried of this repercussion, because they knew this was the next stage,” he said.
In July 2008, Balasubramaniam had gone public with the first SD but withdrew it at another press conference the following day.
Balasubramaniam then produced a second SD, claiming that he had made the first one under duress and fled the country the next day.
‘We have been intimidated’
Balasubramaniam re-emerged on Nov 12, 2009, in the form of a five-part YouTube video interview – believed to be shot in India – retracting his second SD and claiming that he had only made it after being offered RM5 million by Deepak.
Deepak, who only addressed the controversy on April 6, 2011 after whistleblower Raja Petra Kamarudin revived the matter, then described Balasubramaniam as his mere clubbing mate.
In the press briefing yesterday, Deepak said that subsequent to his involvement in 2008, he has been pressured by the “powers that be” to be silent.
“[During 2010 and 2011], I have been raided by various agencies sent by the government to silence me not once but many times. They have taken documents from us. We have been intimidated and kept silent all this while,” he said.
“This was the first time I saw the magnitude of the government machinery coming down on me. I had government officers everywhere – in my bedroom, my office, my factory, my secretary’s office, my father’s room, everywhere.”
Deepak said that he also lost a lot of business deals with the government.
“Other things have happened. There has been a lot of withdrawal and cancellation of contracts and concessions given to us. We had a 20-year contract to build 16 1Malaysia Mara hostels overseas worth RM2 billion. It was suspended,” he said.
He said that he may now take legal action against the government, including the prime minister himself, for terminating the various contracts.
‘I don’t know Muhyiddin’
“We are also looking at the involvement of a particular person, who is not in the government, to claim damages from this person,” he said.
However, when asked if he was referring to Rosmah Mansor, wife of the prime minister, Deepak promptly replied: “I will not comment today. I will give you the documents [later] and we will talk more. I won’t name the person.”
Yesterday, Deepak was also grilled on his reasons for coming out now but denied that it had anything to do with the ongoing Umno annual general assembly.
Asked if he had “switched camps” to support Muhyiddin Yassin to take down Najib, Deepak said that he does not know the deputy prime minister personally.
“Well I have never actually sat down with Muhyiddin and talked to him. I did meet him once at a function, maybe about two or three years ago; aside from that, I have never met him.
“I don’t know him personally, I don’t have his phone number, and honestly after my experience I don’t want to have anything to do with politicians. I’d rather just stick to my business, ” he said.
Deepak said that he had also suffered mentally as a result of his “minimal” involvement, and has lost a lot of weight.
“I used to be a very bubbly person. My father says I have grown from a boy into a worried man,” he said.
He said that following his media interviews in the past few days, he has been asked to resign from the board of 26 companies that he has equity in for his involvement in the Bala controversy.
“The lesson learnt is that it is best to focus on business. No need to get involved in helping politicians in these Bala-type scenarios. It is not worth it at all,” said Deepak.
He added that he would be going on a “long holiday” in Myanmar from Dec 10 to March 11, on his birthday.
Who is the key behind Deepak’s exposé?