NGOs want MACC case on Scorpene deal reopened

PETALING JAYA: Two prominent NGOs today weighed in on the indictment of a pair of former top executives in a long-running probe into alleged kickbacks from the 2002 sale of submarines to Malaysia, calling for the case initiated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2012 to be reopened.

In a statement, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) and the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali should reopen the case and allow the mutual legal assistance requested by France to resolve the matter once and for all.

The NGOs added that Abdul Razak Baginda, who was the chief negotiator in the arms deal, must offer his full cooperation to the French prosecution team and MACC to clarify his role and clear his name.
“It is no longer an option to remain silent and hope the case will go away,” said Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy and C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel.

They were responding to reports that French investigators had indicted Philippe Japiot, former chairman of the French naval dockyards unit DCNI, and Jean-Paul Perrier, former chief executive of the French defence and electronics giant Thales, over the US$1.1 billion sale of two Scorpene submarines to Malaysia 15 years ago.

A report by French news agency AFP said the two were interviewed in May in connection with corruption and commission allegations.
Japiot has additionally been indicted for “abuse of social assets” and Perrier for “complicity in the abuse of social assets”.

The investigation was launched in 2010 in response to a complaint by Suaram.

The complaint centred on allegations that the French submarine maker paid a commission of more than €114 million (RM560 million based on current exchange rate) to a purported shell company linked to Razak, a former close associate of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

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