Monday, 8 October 2012

Malaysia says purchase of submarines followed legal procedures

Malaysia’s Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Auditor-General has already explained that the purchase of Scorpene submarines was made according to legal procedures and his official report must be accepted by all.
In response to the opposition’s plan to bring in a French lawyer, William Bourdon, to brief the Malaysian lawmakers on court proceedings in France on the purchase of the submarines, Zahid hoped no side would twist the existing facts on the matter.
He was also in the opinion “that the lawyer was invited to Malaysia by the opposition merely with political motive and not so much for legal business.”
Prime Minister Najib Razak has already dismissed the charges, which include allegations of corruption in the $1.1 billion submarine purchase in 2002.
Still, Malaysia’s online media in the past couple of months have been active, charging the now Prime Minister with new “evidence” that opposition-leaning rights group Suaram and its lawyers say has been turned up by French judges probing the case.
The claims come at a sensitive time for Najib, who is preparing for elections, which he is expected to call soon.

They include an allegation that a classified Malaysian defense ministry report on the country’s naval needs was sold to submarine maker Thales, possibly to help the French firm land the $1.1 billion deal.

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