Human rights NGO Suaram has revealed that the name of an individual closely linked to former finance minister Daim Zainuddin is mentioned in the French prosecution papers on alleged corruption in Malaysia’s RM7.3 billion purchase of two Scorpene-class submarines in 2002.
At a press conference in Bangkok today, Suaram director Cynthia Gabriel said French police had seized documents including a note for the French defence minister dated July 2, 1999.
This related to an interview with then Malaysian defence minister Najib Abdul Razak and French-Malaysian diplomacy on defence matters.
"The note mentions one Mohd Ibrahim Mohd Noor and Abdul Razak Baginda as points of reference for political network," she said.
"It further states that both have strong political connections as Mohd Ibrahim is close to Daim, and Abdul Razak to Najib.”
She said another note explains that, by early 2001, Mohd Ibrahim's influence had begun to decline in tandem with Daim’s waning power.
Mohd Ibrahim's name then ‘disappeared’ from Perimekar Sdn Bhd - said to have served as intermediary in the Scorpene purchase - both as shareholder and director. He was replaced later by those in Abdul Razak's network.
Gabriel said consultants (company agents) are used as "political network" agents to facilitate monetary transfers and to receive commissions from their mandators.
Abdul Razak (left) eventually became the main point of reference for political network to facilitate the money transfer, she claimed.
"The note stated that ... Abdul Razak maintained excellent ties with the defence minister and the prime minister.
"Furthermore, his wife is a close friend of the defence minister’s wife. Therefore, Abdul Razak became the centre of the network."
In a document tagged ‘Malaysia’, there is a confidential report on Perimekar and Terasasi Sdn Bhd - owned by Abdul Razak and his father - as well as a report that includes a note on ‘retracing the background of negotiations’, said Gabriel.
The note states that, pursuant to the major defence contracts between France and Malaysia, there was a requirement that substantial transfer of money had to be channelled to individuals and political organisations like Umno.
Lawyers R Sivarasa and Fadiah Nadwa Fikri were at the press conference - hosted by Forum-Asia executive director Yap Swee Seng - alongside Suaram’s French lawyer Joseph Breham and Malaysian embassy officials.