Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak played a major role in the retraction of private investigator P Balasubramaniam's statutory declaration (SD) in 2008, according to carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan.
In an interview with Harakah, which has been uploaded to Youtube, Deepak said that Najib had done so to head off possible action taken by his enemies within Umno, aimed at thwarting his premiership ambitions.
"But there was a faction within Umno that did not want Najib to be prime minister. They had their own interest. They were ready.
"Someone from this group will come up with a SD to explain who had done this cruel deed and identify the person who instructed him. This is at very high level," said Deepak.
At the time, Najib was the deputy prime minister. He became prime minister in April 2009 after his predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, was forced to step down to take responsibility for the disastrous showing at the 2008 general election.
Balasubramaniam's first SD, revealed on July 3, 2008, documented his sworn statement that Najib had links with slain Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Met Najib at his home
The following day, Balasubramaniam made another SD, claiming that the allegations that he made in the first SD was false.
"Thus, the objective behind changing the SD is not because they were afraid of Bala. The main objective is bigger than that. They need to stop (the other faction's) next move.
"That very night, we had to complete (the new SD). We had to (compel Balasubramaniam) to U-turn. We had to close (the matter). That was the problem," he said, stressing the urgency of the situation.
Deepak said that he had received a telephone call from Rosmah Mansor, Najib's wife, at dusk on July 3, 2008.
Deepak said that Rosmah had sought his help since he knew Balasubramaniam, who had gone public with his first SD in the morning that day.
Following this, Deepak said that he went to Najib's official residence in Putrajaya and told him that initial contact with Balasubramaniam showed that the latter was not willing to help them.
"He (Najib) called a lawyer and then he called his brother, also a lawyer. After (some) discussion, he asked me to to meet him and find a way to make him agree to retract the SD.
"I called Bala... He said he wanted to meet Datuk Seri and Datin Seri if he were to retract the SD," said Deepak.
'MACC must take action'
Deepak said that Najib then proposed that his younger brother Nazim, an architect and businessman, represent him instead. The meeting subsequently took place around midnight at a shopping mall in Damansara.
The deal, which also involved undisclosed sums of money, was stitched and Nazim called Najib to arrange for a lawyer to draft the second statutory declaration at a posh hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
In the video, Harakah muted the name of the lawyer mentioned by Deepak.
Following this, a press conference was hastily called the next day. Deepak said that the lawyer did not wanted to be present, forcing him to call a lawyer friend to accompany Balasubramaniam before the press.
Deepak said that he was revealing this information in order to urge the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to take action and protect the integrity of institution.
"I'm sure there are good people in the MACC. It is impossible that everyone only take orders from that couple. We have 28 million people in Malaysia," he said.
VIDEO l 14.39 mins
THE BALA INTERVIEW
Part 1: PI Bala: They tried to bribe me... again
Part 2: Deputy minister offered to 'settle' Bala case
Part 3: I fear for my life, says PI Bala