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altantuya murder caseIn Ulan Batur, Mongolia, Altantuya’s eldest son Mungunshagai, 12, is traumatized by his mother’s death.

 

Altantuya’s youngest, Altanshagai, 5, is mentally handicapped and has not understood that he will never see his mother again.

 

“He asks for her all the time, sitting in wait on his chair the whole day,” says Altantuya’s father Sharibu Setev. “

 

Every evening, I bring him sweets and tell him that his mother gave it to me for him.”

 

Altantuya’s father, is trying to control his anger. To him and his family, Baginda’s acquittal and release depict Malaysia’s unjust judicial process.

 

“The Malaysian government is not even answering letters from the Mongolian Foreign Ministry,” he says.

 

When Sharibu went to Malaysia’s Parliament House to meet Najib Razak, the deputy prime minister sneaked out a back door to avoid embarrassing encounter…

 

1001 tears and 1 laughter …

 

…As for Baginda, he resettled in the United Kingdom with his family. He never uttered a word of regret about the deadly fate of the one who shared his life for two years.

 

The French Newspaper Liberation

 

altantuya case

 

…Things turned dramatic Oct. 2006. Altantuya Sharibu got word that the “commission” from French-Spanish company Armaris had arrived at a Malaysian bank account. It had been paid to Perimekar, a company owned by Abdul Razak Baginda, intermediary of deputy PM and defense minister Najib Razak.

 

Altantuya rushed to Kuala Lumpur to claim her share of the “commission” from Baginda; she said she was entitled to $500,000. Baginda and Altantuya had broken up prior to this. A jealous Rosmah Mansor, the feared businesswoman-wife of Najib Razak, objected to any payment to Altantuya.

 

Altantuya had arrived with two other Mongolian women, one of them a shaman tasked to put a spell on Baginda if he refused to pay up.

 

For days Altantuya harassed her ex-lover. On Oct. 18 Baginda could no longer tolerate the daily scenes she made in front of his house. He contacted Musa Safrie, the director of the Special Branch and Najib Razak’s aide de camp.

 

On Oct. 19 just before 9 p.m. two Special Branch agents, Azilah Hadridan and Sirul Omar, were sent to Baginda’s house where Altantuya was gesticulating and yelling outside. They had the order to “neutralize the Chinese woman.”

 

They kidnapped and drove her ten kilometers away and shot her several times. Then they destroyed her body with C4 explosives, a type that can only be obtained from within the Defense Ministry.

 

Her entry into Malaysia was erased from immigration records. It would appear that Altantuya had never come to Malaysia; no trace was left of her.

 

There is no perfect crime. The taxi driver hired by Altantuya for the day did not relish that his passenger was abducted before his eyes without payment for the fare.

 

He took note of the abductors’ car plate and filed a complaint at the local police station. Within days the
police identified the car as government-owned.

 

Events unfolded that even a deputy prime minister could not impede. Najib Razak tried to cover up.

 

A few hours before Baginda’s arrest, he sent him an SMS: “I will see the Inspector General of Police at 11 a.m. today… The problem will be solved. Stay calm.” Still Baginda was arrested, along with the two Special Branch officers, Azilah and Sirul.

 

After a trial considered dubious by many observers, Baginda was acquitted of ordering the murder, and released in Nov. 2008. Accused of committing the murder, Azilah and Sirul appeared in court last month. If convicted, they face death. The verdict is due on Apr. 9.

 

Murder or Sodomy?

 

The Altantuya case has become a key element of the Malaysian political game between Najib Razak and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

 

So far Najib Razak has steered around the obstacles, but the murder of the young Mongolian remains a sword hanging over his head.

 

Meanwhile Anwar Ibrahim has to appear in court for allegedly having sodomized a former aid of… Najib…

 

We all live in a yellow submarine…

 

An obscured facet of the Altantuya case is the role of Armaris.

 

In Oct. 2007 Malaysian deputy defense minister Zainal Abdidin Zin acknowledged in Parliament that Armaris had paid 114 million euros in “commission” to Baginda’s Perimekar. It was not a bribe, he maintained, but payment for “support and coordination services.”

 

Was there corruption as in the Taiwanese frigates in which the French DCNS firm was also implicated?

 

DCNS, a private company with public financing, has declined our request for a meeting. “Nobody can comment on this case,” was the curt reply of the DCNS press officer in Paris.

 

A document that could prove a link between Altantuya and the French company is the guarantee letter written by Baginda so that his mistress could obtain a visa to enter the Schengen zone (of which France is a member-country).

 

The French embassy could not refuse this favor to a man decorated with the Legion d’Honneur.

 

But the role of Altantuya in the submarines negotiation is still unclear. Intelligence agencies find her background intriguing and the Russian FSB (ex-KGB) is following closely the case.

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