The late private investigator P Balasubramaniam's lawyer Americk Sidhu has agreed to testify before a French tribunal looking into alleged government corruption in Malaysia’s purchase of two Scorpene submarines.
Civil rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) executive director Cynthia Gabriel said Americk would give evidence in Paris sometime this September.
"The court there has been in touch with Americk to determine his free dates," she said after attending a fund raising dinner for the case in which Suaram has been made a party.
She said the focus would be on Balasubramaniam's revelations on the role of Malaysia's then defence minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the Scorpene acquisition.
Cynthia also said the French court has now extended its investigations into circumstances that led to Altantuya Shaariibuu's death, and especially if Najib had abused his powers as the then Deputy Prime Minister to cover the truth.
Najib has denied all allegations in the case while Balasubramaniam had made two conflicting statutory declarations (SD).
Balasubramaniam made further revelations that Najib and his family members had a direct hand in the case and Americk made a further expose at the Malaysian Bar annual general meeting on March 16, 2013, days after the private detective died of a heart attack.
"The issue is whether Balasubramaniam's second SD was made at the instruction of Najib and whether Najib had instructed lawyer (Tan Sri) Cecil Abraham to prepare the SD2," said Cynthia.
Americk, a guest speaker at the Suaram fundraising dinner last night, confirmed that he would testify in Paris.
Cynthia also disclosed that another Malaysian had given a written statement to the court just before Malaysia's May 5 general election.
However, she said the witness's identity has been withheld, as requested.
She said the lead judge in the ongoing inquiry, Roger Le Loire, has requested further information on how the testimonies will impact the ongoing investigations.
In 2009, Suaram lodged a complaint with the French courts which led to an inquiry involving two investigating judges.
The heart of the allegations was that French submarine builder DCNS paid more than 114 million euros (RM458 million) to a purported shell company linked to Abdul Razak Baginda, a political analyst seen to be close to Najib.
Critics in Malaysia have alleged that such payments were kickbacks, which is illegal under French, Malaysian and international laws.
Cynthia also said French and Hong Kong authorities were also working together to expose corruption by Malaysian-owned firm Terasasi involved in the Scorpene submarines purchase.
"The probe revolves around corruption and money laundering linking to nine other companies with political connections in Malaysia," she added.
Americk revealed last night that police never asked Balasubramaniam pertinent questions about Altantuya's murder despite being held for 14 days in 2006.
"No one seemed to to be interested in what he knew. All the statements he gave the police had been edited and sanitised for use in court," he said.
The lawyer said this prompted his client to come out with the famous SD1.
He also said careful and detailed study of the SD1 would reveal that nowhere had Balasubramaniam made any mention that Najib was involved in Altantuya's murder.
"All Balasubramaniam said is that both Abdul Razak Baginda and Altantuya told him she used to be Najib's girlfriend," Americk said, adding that he was merely detailing out facts.
Balasubramaniam then made SD2 to retract the contents in SD1 and was bundled off to India with his family .
Americk said the haste in which all this was organised was reflective of knee-jerk reaction to an innocuous situation, resulting in the fortification of what his client had alluded to in SD1.
Abdul Razak was acquitted in 2009 of abetting in the murder of the ex-Mongolian model who was also his lover.
Two former policemen Sirul Azahar and Azilah Hadri have appealed to the Court of Appeal to overturn their convictions for the murder.
please do not only take good care of yourself, also do make sure that you have bodyguards with you 24/7. All righteous Malaysians want you to be well and safe.
I hope it's ever do damning of Najib and his crony Baginda, who's hiding in England pretending to be studying there. We'll come closer to knowing who cowardly murdered the beautiful Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa, and why.
Take care of yourself,be aware of heart attack.