MACC reopens probe on Scorpene submarine deal

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has reopened investigations into the RM4.7 billion Scorpene-class submarine deal made between Malaysia and France in 2002.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who was defence minister at the time the deal was sealed, was summoned by MACC investigators today and grilled for four hours before leaving at about 1.30pm.

MACC sources confirmed that Najib was called up for the fresh investigations on the multi-billion ringgit submarine deal.

It is learnt that more individuals would be called up by investigators in the coming weeks including the chief negotiator behind the acquisition of the two submarines, Abdul Razak Baginda.

He was one of the accused in the murder trial of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaaribuu. The former political analyst was acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

It was reported that over RM500 million was allegedly paid out as brokerage commissions over the deal to a Malaysian company linked to Baginda by French naval defence firm DCNI.

Two French officials of DCN, who were implicated for alleged corruption in the case, were indicted in France over the submarine deal last year after an investigation that was initiated following an official complaint by Malaysian non-govermental organisations.

The duo are former chairman of French naval dockyards unit DCNI, Philippe Japiot, and the former chief executive of French defence and electronics giant Thales, Jean-Paul Perrier.

In November of last year, the Prime Minister’s Department said the MACC probe on the brokering of the deal was completed but subsequent action on the probe findings was not reported.

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In June, about a month after the new government came into power, Defence Minister Mohammad Sabu was quoted as saying that the Scorpene submarine deal will be re-examined and investigated.

Meanwhile, it was also reported that Najib’s wife Datin Rosmah Mansor was also questioned yesterday by police for four hours over an ongoing probe on the multi-million ringgit cash and valuables seized from her home and other locations over the past few months.

Last week, she was charged in court for corruption over the Sarawak rural schools RM1.25 billion ringgit solar panel project and in October she was also in court facing money-laundering and tax evasion charges.


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