P HOTOGRAPH of Prime Minister Najib Razak posing with murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu was handed to the Malaysian police but is not likely to ever surface, says French investigative reporter Arnaud Dubus.
In an interview with Free Malaysia Today, Dubus said it was “naive” of Altantuya’s family not to have made copies of the photograph, which would prove that Najib knew her.
“This photograph was given to Mongolia’s Honorary Consul in Malaysia, Datuk Syed Abdul Rahman Alhabshi, who gave it to the Malaysian police and then it sort of vanished,” Dubus said.
As such, his investigations of three months into the trail linking Najib to Altantuya had gone cold, he said.
The investigations, carried out by the respected French newspaper La Liberation, went into the details of shady arms deals and a sexual affair which also involved Najib aide Abdul Razak Baginda.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly denied knowing Altantuya, but the denials have done little to silence the parliamentary opposition, which has used the murder as political fodder against Najib for the past three years.
Dubus has no doubt that the “silver bullet” photograph of Najib and Altantuya exists and there are enough pointers to link Najib to Altantuya.
“I think that everybody notices the elements that are linking Najib to Altantuya,” said the Bangkok-based journalist.
“First is this photograph, which has been described by Shaaribuu Setev, the father of Altantuya. He has seen the photograph of Najib, Abdul Razak Baginda and Altantuya in Paris as his daughter showed it to him.”
“And Altantuya’s best friend, Amy, also saw the photograph. And she can remember quite well when Altantuya explained who was who in the picture. Amy asked Altantuya who was this guy (in the photograph) and Altantuya said ‘he was the prime minister.’ Actually around that time Najib was Deputy Prime Minister, but (clearly Altantuya was referring) to Najib,” Dubus said.
Dubus said he doubted if the photograph would ever see the light of the day.
“Well, the photograph was given to the Malaysian police; so if we want to check where was the pic, somebody has to go to the Malaysian police and the one who can do it is the Honorary Consul as he was the one who gave it to them,” said Dubus.
“Unfortunately Altantuya’s father is a down-to-earth man who trusts people easily. He really trusted this Honorary Consul. And he gave him all the documents without making copies, which I thought was very naive. And everything vanished.
“I think the photograph will never be found because it too incriminating. It is just too sensitive.”
Asked to elaborate, Dubus said the photograph would immediately contradict Najib’s persistent denial about ever meeting the Mongolian woman.
“He (Najib) has sworn on the Quran that he has never met this woman. If the photograph is found, it would contradict him and that would be very embarrassing,” he said.
Monday, 9th Nov 2009
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