Archived: Hong Kong, France join forces on Scorpene case

PETALING JAYA: French and Hong Kong authorities are working together to expose corruption by Malaysian-owned firm Terasasi, which is involved in the multi-billion purchase of Scorpene submarines.

Human rights NGO Suaram said that a list of those who received kickbacks from Terasasi would be disclosed soon by the French courts.

Terasasi is based in Hong Kong and owned by Abdul Razak Baginda, who was acquitted in 2008 of the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

“No one ever really knew the role Terasasi played, nor that it was owned by Abdul Razak Baginda and his father. Now Hong Kong is working with the court in France to come up with a list of recipients of kickbacks,” Cynthia Gabriel, who is Suaram director, told a packed press conference here today.

“It’s not just kickbacks and bribery, but it also involves money laundering. That is what is being investigated, although we can’t disclose who exactly the investigating authorities are,” she added.

Lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, meanwhile, said that she believed they would learn of the recipients within one week.

Fresh from her trip to France with Gabriel, Fadiah revealed that the judges probing the alleged corruption in the Scorpene deal were also keen to investigate the circumstances involving Altantuya’s death.

“Apart from the corruption and scandal [in the Scorpene deal], they are also looking into the [caretaker] Prime Minister [Najib Tun Razak’s] involvement in the murder of Altantuya. So this is going to answer a lot of questions,” she told FMT.

Altantuya, who was Abdul Razak’s lover, was said to have helped the political analyst secure the Scorpene deal with French naval company DCNS.

She was allegedly murdered after demanding millions in payback for her services, according to Abdul Razak’s private investigator, the late P Balasubramaniam.


Balasubramaniam had implicated Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor in the murder in his statutory declaration in 2008, only to reverse his claims a day later before fleeing the country.

But he then told the media that he had made the second statutory declaration under duress, before he died from a heart attack last month.

Balsubramaniam’s lawyer, Americk Singh Sidhu, had then alleged that Cecil Abraham was the senior lawyer behind the drafting of Balasubramaniam’s second statutory declaration.

“So we proffered these two names [Americk and Abraham] to the judges and it has been accepted and we expect them to be called soon to testify,” said Fadiah.