Scorpene probe not a serious matter, says foreign minister
Ahmad Fadli KC
4:09PM Jun 11, 2012
The probe by French prosecutors into the alleged corruption over the purchase of the two Scorpene submarines is not a serious issue that Malaysia should now focus on, said Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
"This is not a serious matter that we need to follow, and it is being played up by certain parties," he told reporters after attending a luncheon with representatives of Asean nations in Kuala Lumpur today.
He was asked about Malaysia's preparations to face the case currently being investigated in Paris.
Anifah said that Malaysia will make the necessary preparations to face the trial when they are needed.
"So far we have not received any information from the (French) embassy. But if necessary, we are ready to defend ourselves," Anifah added.
Local human rights NGO Suaram had filed a suit over alleged kickbacks from French defence contractor DCNS to Malaysian parties in the two submarine purchases.
Suaram's lawyer Joseph Breham recently revealed that French prosecutors found that a company closely-linked to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had sold confidential documents to DCNS for 36 million euro (RM142 million).
The company, Hong Kong-based Terasasi Ltd, belongs to Najib's associate Abdul Razak Baginda and the latter's father Abdul Malim Baginda.
Suaram had also revealed that French investigators found fax correspondence which indicate that Najib could have asked for US$1 billion for another company owned by Abdul Razak, Perimekar, for the duration of the company's stay in France.
This was allegedly in exchange for a meeting with Najib.
Najib has been silent on the matter while the Navy and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, too, had declined comment.
Najib, Abdul Razak and Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid have been named in the list of seven witnesses proposed by Suaram, which was accepted by French investigating judge Roger Le Loire.
However, this does not mean that all seven witnesses will be subpoenaed by the inquiry.