Sodomised aide confided in me: Malaysian deputy PM

July 4th, 2008 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  


Kuala Lumpur, July 4 (IANS) Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak Friday claimed that the aide allegedly sodomized by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had met him and had confided in him about his woes. Razak had earlier denied having had a hand in the police complaint filed by Ibrahim’s aide Mohammed Saiful Bukhari Azlan alleging the opposition leader had sodomised him.

However, he told reporters Friday that Azlan had approached him through a functionary in his office and had met him at home.

“I suppose he needed help,” Razak said, adding: “He looked genuine. He was in fear and his hands were seram sejuk (cold) but I dared not make any conclusion.

“I said he should decide himself after he told me everything,” The Star Online quoted Razak as saying.

Even as Ibrahim repeated the “conspiracy” charge against high ups in Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s government in an interview he gave to The Sun newspaper, Friday’s round of political scandal appeared to belong to Razak.

This was because ethnic Indian private investigator P. Balasubramaniam retracted all the statements he made against Razak in a statutory declaration filed Thursday.

Speaking through his lawyers, Balasubramaniam faced the media saying all that he had alleged Thursday was not true.

“I wish to retract the entire contents of my statutory declaration dated July 1, 2008. I was compelled to affirm the said statutory declaration under duress,” he said in his new statutory declaration dated Friday.

He had accused Razak, the number two man in the government and the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional, of being involved in the murder of a Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, who wanted hefty commission for having facilitated a defence deal.

Razak and his wife have been accused of interfering with the murder trial.

On Thursday, Razak had reiterated that that he never knew Altantuya and referred to the claim linking him to her as “a terrible lie”.

He had linked the investigator’s charges, and their timing, to distract from the sodomy charge against Ibrahim.

Speaking to The Sun, Ibrahim contended that the sodomy charge had come when he was about to “take over” as the country’s prime minister.

But he appeared to be on the defensive, stressing that he would adopt a “forgive and forget” approach once he assumes that office and try to carry every one along.

“I am a human being, I have a family, I have six children, I have suffered, I am tired of all the intrigues, I want to forgive and I want to move on,” he told the Sun in an interview published Friday.

Meanwhile, the diplomatic tiff between Malaysia and the US on the Ibrahim issue went a step further on Friday.

Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said a letter was dispatched to the US Embassy Friday morning addressed to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, voicing Malaysia’s “displeasure and unhappiness”.

Malaysia has taken exception to US State Department spokesman Tom Casey drawing parallels between the sodomy charge against Ibrahim in 1998 which was overturned and the fresh allegation, warning against a “politically motivated probe” against the opposition leader.

“The comments were uncalled for and Malaysia takes a serious view in respect of this position. We made it very clear in our letter that we are displeased with the statement. I hope this is taken stock of,” Yatim was quoted by The Star Online as saying.

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