Najib denies allegations of abuse, says SMS was private

Posted by Penarik Beca Saturday, November 1, 2008

Malaysian Insider (14/10/08): Datuk Seri Najib Razak has denied any abuse of power in relation to the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder investigations and the government's acquisition of 12 Eurocopter helicopters.

But he did not deny the text message exchanges between him and a lawyer at the heart of the allegations were genuine. He said the SMS exchanges were a private matter.

"Why do I need to comment? There is no abuse of power," the deputy prime minister said.

Malaysia Today carried a report detailing what it alleged was an exchange of text messages between Najib and Datuk Shafee Abdullah, the prominent lawyer who represented Abdul Razak Baginda, the close associate of Najib who was eventually charged with abetting two police officers in the murder of Altantuya in 2006.

In one SMS, Najib allegedly tells the lawyer that Razak — his advisor — "will face a tentative charge but all is not lost".

Malaysia Today said this message raises some questions about Najib's role in the case. "Why did he mention "tentative" charge and that "all is not lost" for RB (Razak Baginda)? How would Najib know this before Razak was charged? These are important questions which will have ramifications, not just on this case but far beyond," a posting on the website said.

However, Najib would neither confirm nor deny that the supposed SMS exchange between him and Shafee were genuine.

"It doesn't really matter. The important thing is there is no abuse of power," he said.

"No need, no need, it is private. Whatever it is, the prime minister has said enough," he continued in the same tone.

"Why should it be of major concern? The important thing is if there is abuse of power and, if you read it carefully, there is no abuse of power, period," Najib reasoned .

On the issue of the RM2.3 billion Eurocopter deal claimed by the opposition to cost more than other tenders, he merely stated that a full explanation would be given in Parliament.

"Whatever the opposition said is not true," he said dismissively. "We will give you the facts later."

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