Malaysian High Court rejects move to summon DPM Najib to testify in court

SHAH ALAM : Malaysia's High Court has rejected a move to summon the country's Deputy Prime Minister, Najib Razak, to testify in court over the murder of a Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Altantuya's family counsel, Karpal Singh, had submitted the application, calling for Mr Najib and several others to take the stand.

In rejecting the application, High Court judge Mohd Zaki said lawyer Karpal, who is holding a watching brief for the victim's family, has no locus standi or is in no position to make the application. Only the parties involved, namely the prosecution and the defence, have the right to do so.

The judge also said that there is no evidence to suggest that recalling private investigator Balasubramaniam or summoning deputy premier Najib to testify is essential to a just decision of the case.

As such, he is disallowed a stay of the proceeding pending police investigation, as this will cause unnecessary delay since the private eye is missing and there is no telling when the police investigation will be completed.

Speaking outside the court, Karpal was disappointed with the court's decision.

"The court should recall Balasubramaniam, ... bring the man here as I want to question him (on) the status of his evidence. The judge should at least have done that," said Karpal.

He argued that the prosecution should be the one making the application to recall Balasubramaniam, who is a key prosecution witness, in light of the shocking sworn statement linking Mr Najib to the murdered mongolian model, although it was subsequently retracted.

Karpal said he may appeal against the court's decision.

Meanwhile, the family of Altantuya is said to be pessimistic over the prospect of a fair trial.

Syed Abdul Rahman Alhabshi, Mongolian Consul to Malaysia, said: "The parent expected all this. When I asked him (parent) if he was coming or not, (he said) he doesn't see light at the end of the tunnel, so what's the point of (him) coming."

Submission for the case has just started after the prosecution closed its case in a trial that has dragged on for over 120 days. It will take at least one to two weeks before the court decides whether the defence has a case to answer. - CNA /ls

Melissa Goh | Posted: 24 July 2008 0030

Najib: Saiful Came To See Me On Sodomy Case

July 03, 2008 23:20 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Thursday admitted having met Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan before because he (Mohd Saiful) wanted to reveal that he had been sodomised by Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Najib said that their meeting was the first between them and it took place at his (Najib's) residence several days before Mohd Saiful, who appeared to be highly traumatised, had made a police report on the sodomy allegation on Anwar.

"I received his (Mohd Saiful's) visit in my capacity as a leader and he as an ordinary citizen who wanted to tell me something... I don't know him before this," Najib told a press conference at his Parliament office here.

Mohd Saiful, 23, had made a police report at the police beat base at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital on June 28 that he had been allegedly sodomised by Anwar at a condominium in Damansara on June 26.

When asked why the former aide to Anwar had come to him on the matter, Najib said that he did not know but assumed that the youth needed his help after Mohd Saiful said that he knew one of his (Najib's) officers.

Najib said Mohd Saiful had also come to his office to meet one of his officers to regarding a scholarship application but he (Najib) did not meet Mohd Saiful then.

The deputy prime minister also denied allegations that he had conspired against Anwar.

Asked whether he (Najib) believed that what was said by Mohd Saiful had basis or otherwise, Najib said initially he was also unsure that what had been said by Mohd Saiful was true or false.

"I wouldn't dare say... I thought he (Mohd Saiful) looked genuine because he was afraid. His hands were cold. But I am not brave enough to make a conclusion. I told him to make his own decision," he said.

Najib also denied that that he had advised Mohd Saiful to make a police report.

He said that during their meeting, Mohd Saiful had told everything that had happened to him.

When asked on what was told by Mohd Saiful, Najib smiled and said, "Oh, there were many stories, I might tell one day but after the court case."

Najib also said he was ready to give evidence if needed following his expose.

"Yes, I am ready. But what is there to ask? I merely heard his story. What is more important is the explanation from him, not from me," he said.

-- BERNAMA