Malaysia to verify with France reports that ex-Najib adviser was charged with graft in submarine deal

Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda has denied that he has been charged in France over Malaysia's purchase of Scorpene submarines in 2002, clarifying instead that a formal investigation has taken place.
Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda has denied that he has been charged in France over Malaysia's purchase of Scorpene submarines in 2002, clarifying instead that a formal investigation has taken place. PHOTO: THE STAR

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's anti-corruption body will send investigators to France to verify reports that a former adviser of Prime Minister Najib Razak has been charged with graft over Malaysia's 2002 purchase of submarines.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Dzulkifli Ahmad said the body was verifying the facts so that it could decide on the next course of action, the Malaysian Insight reported.

"I have ordered my officer to get information on the real status of the case; whether it is on inquiry or prosecution stage," Mr Dzulkifli was quoted as saying on TV3 on Wednesday night (Aug 2).

Mr Najib's former adviser Abdul Razak Baginda denied that he was charged in France, saying the country is carrying out a formal investigation over alleged corruption but "no formal charges in a court of law" have been brought against any individual.

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Mr Dzulkifli said if Mr Abdul Razak had been charged, he would have been arrested and brought to court before being released on court bail.

" I decided that MACC has to verify the information. I have instructed my officer to communicate with the French embassy here to get the correct information," he was quoted as saying.

 
 

Agence France-Presse reported on Tuesday that Mr Abdul Razak had been charged in Paris on July 18 over alleged kickbacks in the purchase of the submarines. The report said four French defence industry executives have already been charged since the probe began.

In February last year, Mr Abdul Razak told the Financial Times that while he was paid €30 million (S$48.2 million) to consult on the submarine deal, none of the money was used to bribe officials and that it was a "legitimate agreement".