Monday, June 23, 2008

Archives: Altantuya, Najib and Abdul Razak

Najib and Altantuya: A Picture Connects Them
Mat Salleh
01 July 2007
Testimony in a Malaysian courtroom links the deputy prime minister to a lurid murder case

razakMonths of conjecture in Malaysia about the relationship of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to Altantuya Shaariibuu have been heightened by testimony Friday of Altantuya’s cousin, Burmaa Oyunchimeg, that she had seen a photo of Najib having dinner with the Mongolian beauty and Abdul Razak Baginda, who is accused of arranging for her murder.

Najib has repeatedly denied any knowledge of Altantuya. A spokesman said Saturday that he won’t answer any questions concerning her because he has never met her. Nonetheless, opposition leaders Anwar Ibraham of Parti Keadilan and Lim Guan Eng of the Democratic Action Party both pounced on Burmaa’s testimony, demanding he explain the photo, which the woman said she had seen but did not produce.

Although he has never been questioned or asked to testify in the murder trial, Najib appears to be linked to nearly everyone involved in the case – the two policemen accused of murdering her, and political analyst Abdul Razak, and now Altantuya herself.

The two policemen charged with carrying out the killing are part of an elite force close to Najib’s office. A third suspect, who may be a Najib family bodyguard, has been left out of the case, while the slain woman’s father has repeatedly said his daughter was privy to details of official corruption .

Abdul Razak’s lover, the Russian-educated Altantuya, who spoke Russian, Chinese, Japanese and English, was 28 years old when she was killed on October 19 last year. Her body was abandoned in a patch of jungle near the suburban town of Shah Alam and blown apart with hand grenades, according to police. The prosecutor, Tun Abdul Majib, said evidence would be introduced to show that the deceased's cause of death was "probable blast-related injuries.” Other reports said she had been shot twice in the head before being dumped.

Thursday, Burmaa Oyunchimeg read a hand-written letter in court that is believed to have been Altantuya's final note, saying she was afraid Abdul Razak was trying to kill her. Writing in broken English, she said that Abdiul Razak "is powerfull person, he have money, he have connection in police, in government. He trying to scare me, trying to kill me."

At the time of Altantuya's death, Abdul Razak was head of the Malaysian Strategic Research Center and a close advisor to Najib. He was arrested as a suspect in the murder, along with Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Constable Sirul Azhar Umar. The two have usually been identified in local newspapers as members of an elite police unit, the Bukit Aman Special Action Force, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Security, which is headed by the Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

In fact, however, Azilah was head of Najib’s personal security team. In an affidavit filed in December in his defense, Abdul Razak said he had contacted Azilah through Musa Safri, Najib’s aide-de-camp, to ask for help in dealing with Altantuya, who by that time was demanding money to care for a baby she said Abdul Razak had fathered.

Another mysterious figure in the case was a woman constable who was mentioned in earlier news reports as “helping police in the investigation into the murder.” She was named for the first time Friday as Lance Corporal Rophaniza Roslan, 29, who said she was off duty the night of Altantuya’s disappearance and was keeping Azila company at the police headquarters in Bukit Aman when the call came in to go to Abdul Razak’s home. News reports aid the woman helped to put Altantuya into the red Proton Saga car that drove her away for the last time.

The rumor mill has it that the policewoman is a bodyguard for Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor. The private investigator hired by Razak, P. Balasubramaniam, testified that that a man and a woman were with Azilah when Azilah drove Altantuya away. However, he said he could not recognize the two other individuals.

Najib has been asked at press conferences repeatedly about allegations of his involvement in the crime, which also has been the subject of vocal charges by Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister and current leader of the opposition reform party, Keadilan Rakyat Malaysia (People’s Justice Party). Najib has just as repeatedly denied any involvement.

Other questions have arisen over the politically touchy trial. The case was brought forward by nearly a year, from an original date of April 2008, leading to conjecture that authorities wanted to get it out of the way before elections, which are expected to be called sometime next year.

Also, the prosecution team was abruptly changed the night before the trial was to begin, leading new prosecutors to plead for more time to get their case together. Officials said the prosecution team was changed because the original prosecutor was seen playing badminton with the judge although critics have repeatedly said virtually every lawyer in Kuala Lumpur plays badminton with virtually every judge.

In Malaysia, the trial is regarded as yet another test of the country’s judicial system and is being closely watched for signs of political influence. (Reformers were jolted this week, meanwhile. when Eric Chia, a longtime crony of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, was freed on embezzlement charges.)

Abdul Razak, who is married and has a teenage daughter, acknowledged in his affidavit that he had met Altantuya at a gala party in Hong Kong in 2004 and began a whirlwind affair that included trips to Europe, expensive gifts and cash payments of US$10,000 at a time. The two became so close, according to testimony by Ang Chong Beng, a private investigator hired by the dead woman, that Altantuya said she had married Abdul Razak in Hong Kong.

But Abdul Razak reportedly tired of the slender, multi-lingual beauty in 2005, although he continued to give her money. The payments stopped in 2006, prompting the woman to travel to Malaysia at least twice to demand US$500,000 from him. Ang, who began testifying Monday, said he was hired by Altantuya last September to find out whether Abdul Razak was still in the country.

Ang said Altantuya had told him, “If Razak does not pay her, she would reveal everything (about her relationship with Razak) to his wife, his daughter Rowena, TV3, reporters and to the rest of the world.”

Altantuya visited Abdul Razak’s office several times in the company of two Mongolian friends in an effort to force the political analyst to pay up. Contradicting earlier testimony that Abdul Razak had never mentioned harming Altantuya, one of the murdered woman’s friends testified that they were repeatedly threatened with death. Uuriintuya Gal-Ochir said neither she nor Altantuya lodged a police report because they were afraid of Abdul Razak’s connections to police officers. A private investigator hired by Abdul Razak, P. Balasubramaniam and his assistant, K. Suras Kumar, harassed them six or seven times after their arrival in Malaysia on Oct 8 last year, the woman said.

Suras, she said, had threatened to throw her, Altantuya and another friend, Namiraa Gerelma, out of a hotel room window. In previous testimony, Balasubramaniam said Suras had had an affair with one of the women and had been fired. Uuriintuya, however, said the three were so frightened that they remained standing in their hotel room when Suras was let in by Altantuya.

In another development, Uuriintuya testified that she remained in Malaysia after the murder, although Namiraa returned home to Mongolia. When Uuriintuya attempted to leave later, she said her entry had been expunged from Malaysian immigration computers. Uuriintuya testified that Namiraa returned home without a problem, but when she tried to leave with Altantuya's father on Nov 24 ­ more than a month after the murder ­ there was no record of their entering the country.

“Our entry was deleted in the immigration computer,” she testified. The woman banged the witness stand and added: “There is no record of me coming to Malaysia through Beijing. Why?”

Altantuya’s father, Stev Shariibuu, a Mongolian academician, has held numerous press conferences in Kuala Lumpur, repeatedly denying that his daughter was a part-time model, as she had been portrayed in the press, but instead was an accomplished translator who had accompanied Abdul Razak on several business trips. He claimed to reporters that she was killed because she “knew too much” about deals involving Abdul Razak, particularly one involving the purchase of submarines for the Malaysian government through a company in which Abdul Razak holds a significant interest. The 2002 purchase is reported to have netted Abdul Razak a healthy commission from the Malaysian government.

That has been denied by Malaysian government officials.

Court testimony over the two weeks has portrayed Altantuya as a woman carrying on a loud and angry public campaign against the lover who had jilted her. At one point, Balasubramaniam testified, Razak Baginda was so frightened of her that he hired him to keep her away and to protect his daughter as she went to and from school. Balasubramaniam testified that Altantuya showed up at Abdul Razak’s home, screaming “Razak, bastard! You come out. I want to speak to you.”

An obviously rattled Abdul Razak sent scores of telephone calls and text messages to Balasubramaniam that night, pleading for help. Shortly after that, according to testimony, the police officials appeared and put Altantuya into the back of the car. She was never seen alive again.

But was it a simple case of jealous scorn? Najib might be able to shed some light on the matter. But it seems the court has no stomach for calling him to the stand.

Fury, Scorn and Murder in a Malaysian Courtroom
Mat Salleh
22 June 2007
Sex, violence and political intrigue emerge in stunning testimony over a Mongolian beauty’s brutal slaying.

altantuya1 If it is true that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, then the devil himself would be relieved to have never met Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian beauty whose death is at the center of one of Malaysia’s most spectacular murder cases ever.

Abdul Razak Baginda, 47, a member of the country’s Malay elite, faces a possible death penalty over charges of planning the murder of the 28-year-old woman who had reportedly borne his child and of ordering two members of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's bodyguard unit to carry it out. The two face a possible death sentence as well.

Fragments of Altantuya’s body were found in a patch of jungle near Shah Alam, south of Kuala Lumpur, on October 20 after she had been blown up with hand grenades. The case, which has been unfolding for a week in a packed Shah Alam courtroom, south of Kuala Lumpur, has transfixed much of the country because of widespread suspicion that Najib is somehow involved, although the deputy prime minister has not been questioned and is not a witness. Opposition leaders have demanded that his role, if any, be explored. Those demands have been ignored.

But beyond that, and the gruesome manner by which the woman met her death, court testimony has revealed the victim as a seething young woman who kept up a series of furious public demands that Abdul Razak do right by her.

Abdul Razak, who is married and has a young daughter, met Altantuya in 2004 and began a whirlwind affair that included trips to Europe, expensive gifts and cash payments. But Abdul Razak, formerly the head of a top think tank and a close associate of Najib's, reportedly tired of Altantuya in 2005, although he continued to give her money. The payments stopped in 2006, prompting the woman to travel to Malaysia in October to demand US$500,000 from him.

The case has been complicated by the presence of Altantuya’s father, Stev Shariibuu, a Mongolian academician, who has held numerous press conferences in Kuala Lumpur, repeatedly charging that his daughter was not a model, as she had been portrayed often in the press, but instead was an accomplished translator who had accompanied Abdul Razak on several business trips and that she was killed because she “knew too much” about deals involving Abdul Razak and Najib Razak, particularly one involving the purchase of submarines for the Malaysian government through a company in which Abdul Razak holds a significant interest.

That has been denied by Malaysian government officials. The elder Sharriibuu also told the court that he was kicked and punched in the stomach by Abdul Razak’s wife, Mazlina Makhzan, before court convened Friday. That charge was denied by Abdul Razak’s family, who have attended court wearing tee-shirts printed with slogans showing support for the defendant.

Hot and Bothered

Whatever the involvement, or lack of it, by other political figures, court testimony has pictured Altantuya as a woman carrying on a loud and angry public campaign against the lover who had jilted her.

At one point, Razak Baginda was so frightened of her that he hired a private detective, Permual Balasubramaniam, to keep her away from him and to protect his daughter, Rowena, as she went to and from school.

Although she had gone back to Mongolia after a previous fruitless visit, the court was told, Altantuya returned to Kuala Lumpur in October, accompanied by two friends determined to get money from her ex-lover. In early October she and two friends showed up at his office but left empty-handed, then returned three or four days later. After Oct. 13, Balasubramaniam began guarding Abdul Razak’s house.

In another sensational fillip to the case, Balasubraniam acknowledged that he had to fire his assistant for having an affair with one of the women who had accompanied Altantuya to Kuala Lumpur.

Despite Altantuya's barrage of complaints, Balasubramaniam agreed with Razak's laywer that there was no need for Razak to file a police report against her for several reasons, among them that Razak was leaving for Hong Kong on October 24 and his wife and daughter were going to London on October 25. On Oct. 17, however, Altantuya showed up at the home, screaming “Razak, bastard, you come out. I want to speak to you,” Balasubramaniam testified. She returned on Oct. 19, again demanding to see the political analyst. An obviously rattled Abdul Razak sent scores of telephone calls and text messages to Balasubramaniam that night, pleading for help.

Enter the Police

That was the evening, as Balasubramaniam was standing guard, when the two elite policemen, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Umar, showed up with a female officer who has never been identified but who is believed to be the bodyguard for Najib Razak’s wife.

“I told Altantuya that the police wanted to arrest her,” Balasubramaniam said. “She went voluntarily into the car and sat in the back seat.”

She was never seen alive again, although threatening text messages continued to arrive, apparently from a relative of Altantuya’s named Amy, which frightened Abdul Razak so badly that he brought Balasubramaniam back into the case.

“You sick xxxx, listen to me carefull…I’m gonna call his wife….already report to Mongolian consulate in Malay. U chicken shits are in big problem…I’ll do my best I promise,” the text message announced, according to the court record.

Balasubramaniam testified repeatedly that although Abdul Razak “smiled” when asked about Altantuya’s wherabouts after she had been driven away the night before, he had never expressed a wish to see her injured. Nor, he said, did Abdul Razak ever ask him to kill Altantuya.

When he learned that Altantuya was dead, the private investigator said, he called Abdul Razak to ask what had happened.

“He said he did not know,” Balasubramaniam testified. “He told me he would contact his friend, a senior police officer.”

The trial, which is expected to last for a month and hear from 30 to 40 witnesses, is to resume Monday.

(Asia Sentinel)

1 comment:

Khairy here, laughing while attention on Najib, haha said...

Sex and the C4

Sodomy is a useful word
recently said and heard,
in Malaysian homes and offices
it’s all about famous orifices.
What is going on, you wonder
when Bala steals the thunder,
finger pointing the magic word
to the delight of a horny herd
Organs united, names forgotten?
VIPs are really rotten
Saiful he knows and did not know
doubts about Aminah begin to grow
of whose loose lips he was afraid
but liked her other end instead;
of course he knew it wasn't right
but it felt so good and tight!
You could not hump like Greeks
the Hindenburg’s fat cheeks;
what her hubby found so succulent
was making Rosmah trucculent.
And so she thought, the time was due
for a nice Mongolian barbecue.
Enter the analyst, not so anal,
who found the girl too banal;
fearing supernatural harm
from her juicy feminine charm,
he hired Bala straightaway
to keep the honeytrap at bay
but private dicks were of no match
for Aminah's superlative snatch
and now that Najib had had his fill,
he would not share the till;
right after the submarine deal,
Aminah's fate he would seal.
Now Rosmah had one idea
on how to kenakan dia
"Let’s bomb the bombshell,
let's send her to hell."
Thus perished the hapless beauty
after translation and booty duty;
now Rosmah’s ass was happy
until one blogger got yappy;
this Hindenburg nearly caught fire
yet to sue she has no desire.
But Najib's part in this murder
will travel much further;
despite his media actions
and one or two retractions,
some questions will remain
a big part of his bane–
how did Altantuya really die?
and why did he have to lie?
Did he pay off Bala savvily,
or threaten to C4 his family?
What acts could be more despised?
With his money, we’re not surprised;
after all, he's such a bully beast,
to him and him alone, at least,
magic words that cannot apply–
are useful for making rivals die.