KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — The French court intended to deliberate on the question of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu's murder in the Paris inquiry investigating corruption in Putrajaya's Scorpene submarine deal, Suaram's lawyer William Bourdon said today.
Jasbir Singh Changl, who is purportedly involved in the government's submarine procurement deal with French defence giant DCNS in 2002, back when Datuk Seri Najib Razak was the defence minister, was reported last Saturday by national news agency Bernama as saying that the focus of the French courts is not on Altantuya's death.
"As for the possible links between the circumstances around Ms. Altantuya's death and corrupt activities, even if the French judges are not seized of Ms. Altantuya's murder directly, this question of her murder is meant to be processed by the French judges," Bourdon said in a statement sent by Suaram to the press today.
"Accordingly, the testimony of Mr. Americk Sidhu should help to reveal the different connections that should be made with corrupt activities, as well as other testimonies that would likely be received by judges very soon," he added.
Suaram executive director Cynthia Gabriel reportedly said last month that Americk, the lawyer of the late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, would focus on the latter's revelations on Najib's role in the Scorpene deal.
The human rights group reportedly said last month that Jasbir was sacked as negotiator and consultant in the government procurement of two submarines and that Abdul Razak Baginda came in to the picture after his termination.
Abdul Razak's company, Perimekar Sdn Bhd, reportedly received RM574 million in commission for providing support and co-ordination services to Putrajaya in the Scorpene acquisition.
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and human rights groups have linked the deal to the murder of Altantuya, who was purportedly Abdul Razak's translator, in 2006.
Jasbir was reported by Bernama as saying that Malaysia's purchase of two submarines for RM4.2 billion then was "much less" than today's price of RM6 billion for one Scorpene submarine.
Bourdon said today that "investigations on Perimekar are also underway".
"Currently, steps to hear Mr. Jasbir as a witness are still ongoing. As a consequence, only statements made under oath before the judges will count," he added.