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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Altantuya: Bourdon's visit stirs up interest on how death-row duo faring

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:20 AM | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Prime Minister Najib Razak's deportation of lawyer William Bourdon has indeed strirred all sorts of speculation. Among the hottest is whether two of his former bodyguards, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Umar, sentenced to hang for the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a translator who was allegedly part of the Scorpene submarines negotiations, were really in jail or had already been freed!
Like it or not, many Malaysians see Najib's decision to deport Bourdon as an abuse of power to stop the skeletons in his closet from being aired and exposed to the wolrd at large.
Many of the people Malaysia Chronicle interviewed also said that a person is innocent until proven guilty, and since Najib is enjoying this privilege, he should extend the same to Bourdon, who was here on legitimate and serious business,
A renowned civil rights activist, Bourdon was deported from Kuala Lumpur for violating the conditions of his social visit pass. The unceremonious way in which he was booted out from the country has a reverse effect on Najib, triggering even greater interest about his involvement in the Scopene and Altantuya scandals.

Bourdon is representing Malaysian NGO Suaram in a complaint filed with the French authorities that that Scorpenes vendor DCN had paid commission to top Malaysian officials including Najib, who was the defense minister in charge of the RM7.3 billion submarines purchase.He was in Penang to give a briefing on the case. Najib has denied accusations of impropriety, while current defence minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has warned against running a smear campaign and that details of the acquisition has been revealed in Parliament.
Respect both Malaysian and international law, Najib told 
MP for Kuching Chong Chieng Jen accused Najib of running a tyrannical and dictatorial regime that is bent on staying in power at all costs. “One of his priorities now is shutting up anyone who wants to talk about injustice through arrest, threats and scare tactics like those in Bersih.”
Chong pointed out that in this day of advanced technology, Bourdon canstill  talk to Malaysians via video conferencing and a horde of other ways due to the borderless world. He reckoned the Najib government was unaware of how the present world operated, and that things could be done and checked without necessitating the physical presence of a person.
The deportation also showed how worried and scared Najib was, but it was futile to resist the long arm of the law, said Chong. But was better for Najib, personally, and for Malaysia, the country he heads, that he accepts a French probe was ongoing and do his best to co-operate. Otherwise, people would assume he was guilty and this could tarnish Malaysia.
“Let the law take its course. If he has a clear conscience, there is nothing to worry or be concerned about. The court is there to protect him,” Chong told Malaysia Chronicle.
Najib can always rebut and tell his side of the story in Paris
See Chee How, PKR publicity chief, slammed Najib for deporting Bourdon to cover up whatever dirt there was in the submarines acquisition.
The government should let Bourdon say what he wants to say. “If Najib feels that Bourbon is lying, he should be happy that court hearings will begin in Paris soon and he can have his say then. If Bourdon is lying, charge him for defamation. We have laws in Malaysia for that as well,” See told Malaysia Chronicle.
See said deporting Bourdon would also create more negative news for Malaysia in the global circuit and this could have a worrying effect on chasing potential investors away.
PKR Women's vice chairman, Voon Shiak Ni, lamented that the issue of deporting Bourbon has cast a negative wave of suspicion on who really killed Altantuya.
“Now even foreigner has been targeted to keep the truth hidden. I believe her spirit of wanting justice will haunt Malaysian until justice is served. Even when the dust of anger for Bersih has yet to settle, this government continues to get involved in all sorts of scandals. How much more can the people take?”.
Is the death-row duo already out and walking amongst us?
Voon also said the entire Altantuya murder trial has cast raised more questions than answers. Two former bodyguards of Najib's have been sentenced to hang for her killing. Throughout the hearing, the faces of the men were always covered up. Why? Where are they now? Are they really in jail waiting in the death row, or are they walking in the streets amongst us.
After all, the majority of Malaysian could not see their faces and cannot identify them. As for their friends and families, there is always the option of plastic surgery if need be. The implication here, is of course, that they are helping to cover up for the people who must have ordered them to kill Altantua.
Neither of the two bodyguards knew her and had no motive to kill her. One of them actually stated in his report that he was paid RM100,000 to kill Altantuya.
In the meantime, cooler heads should prevail till the full case is brought to the court, either here or in France. There is also the position of the case of cross border legality, as the legal and court system there is not similar to us here.
Refering to immigration practice, it should be noted that the department has every right to deny entry to any foreigner visiting this country, without having to give any reason whatsoever.
But just as in the Altantuya murder, the question remains - who ordered the killing? So too for the Bourdon deportation - who ordered the Immigration director-general to eject him?
And as always, the most intriguing question of all - why? Why did someone want Altanuya to be killed? Why did someone want Bourdon to be deported? From these questions, a clear pattern can already be traced!

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