Thursday, June 4, 2009

PM denies knowing Altantuya

PM denies knowing murdered model
4 June, 2009

BEIJING (AP): Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday laughed off opposition attempts to link him to the murdered Mongolian mistress of one of his aides.

Najib told The Associated Press he "had nothing to do with" Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian model and translator who was having an affair with his close friend and aide Abdul Razak Baginda when she was shot on Oct. 19, 2006. Her body was then blown up in a forest outside Kuala Lumpur, and only fragments were found.

Opposition leaders have repeatedly tried to link Najib to Shaariibuu's death. They claim his close association with Abdul Razak makes him suspect.

"There's no evidence," Najib said. "They've not offered any evidence at all... I have sworn in the name of God, of Allah, that I had nothing to do with her and I can't go beyond that."

Najib added what he described as a "tongue in cheek comment," saying the fact that Shaariibuu was staying at "a two-star run down hotel" at the time of her death was further indication that he had not been involved with her.

"If she was my girlfriend, she will be totally insulted if I put her (there)," he said with a laugh.

The aide, Abdul Razak Baginda, has acknowledged the affair but was acquitted last October of abetting the slaying. Two policemen were sentenced to death in April for her murder, though the trial never established what their motive was. They have appealed.

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