Abdullah goes to defence of Najib and wife

Malaysian PM says he doesn’t believe they are involved

By Carolyn Hong, The Straits Times

PRIME Minister Abdullah Badawi yesterday dismissed allegations that the wife of his deputy Najib Razak was involved in the murder of a Mongolian interpreter.

POINTING THE FINGER: Blogger Raja Petra (above) has linked Ms Rosmah to the murder of Ms Altantuya Shaariibuu in his sworn statement to the court.

Datuk Seri Abdullah also said that he had not received military intelligence on the matter.

‘I don’t believe that Najib and Rosmah (Mansor) are involved in this case,’ Mr Abdullah told reporters yesterday.

It was the first time that the Prime Minister was responding to the allegations made in a statutory declaration filed in court last week by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

And it was also the first time that the names of Datuk Seri Najib and his wife were mentioned in the open by a top official, although conspiracy theories over the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu have been raging for months.

The mainstream media has reported the sworn statement by Raja Petra but only in general terms and has not identified Datin Seri Rosmah by name, until now.

Mr Abdullah was asked about the matter by reporters after an official meeting yesterday.

Ms Altantuya, 28, was killed in October 2006, and her former lover Abdul Razak Baginda has been charged with abetting in her murder.

Two police officers from the Special Action Force are charged with the killing.

Raja Petra, 58, who is already facing a sedition charge over an article linking Mr Najib to the murder, had linked Ms Rosmah to the case in his sworn statement.

He also alleged that a Malaysian ruler is aware of the matter, and that a report had been given to the Prime Minister and his influential son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin.

‘It is stated (in Raja Petra’s statutory declaration) that I received a report from the military intelligence. That is not correct,’ Mr Abdullah said.

He added: ‘Of course I am concerned (over the allegations). What Raja Petra did is unacceptable…because what he stated is incorrect.’

The Premier said the Attorney-General has told him that an investigation will be carried out and action will be taken against Raja Petra.

The Altantuya murder has been a political hot potato for Mr Najib and the government since the case became public knowledge.

Mr Najib last month spoke in Parliament about the issue for the first time.

‘As a responsible citizen, and to uphold justice and truth, I am stating again that I do not know, nor have even met, the woman referred to in this case as I have explained several times,’ he said.

The allegations by Raja Petra are seen by some political observers as a move to tarnish the image of Mr Najib.

He has been named by Mr Abdullah as the next prime minister, a transition that could happen soon as the Prime Minister has been under siege since the March 8 polls.

Outside Umno, the opposition has been targeting Mr Najib in an attempt to hurt his reputation and weaken the Barisan Nasional coalition.

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