Jun 25, 2008

Najib, Khairy deny Raja Petra claims

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak has dismissed Raja Petra Kamarudin’s statutory declaration implicating his wife as having had a hand in the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaaribuu as “total lies, fabrication and total garbage.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said the allegations in the statutory declaration were a “desperate and pathetic attempt to discredit and taint my political image.”

He said his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, had already given her statement to the police.

The Prime Minister too would be making his recorded statement to the police.

“I welcome the police investigation and hope they would be concluded soon,” he told reporters on Wednesday after chairing a Cabinet committee meeting on illegal immigrants.

Raja Petra, editor of online news portal and aggregator Malaysia Today, filed his explosive statutory declarationon June 18 with the KL High Court, claiming to have been "reliably informed" that three other persons were present during the murder of Altantuya on Oct 19, 2006.

He claimed that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad was in the know as the Prime Minister had received a written military report on the murder that was then handed over to his son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin for “safe-keeping.”

Raja Petra was charged for sedition last month for implying the deputy prime minister was involved in Altantuya’s murder.

On Tuesday, Abdullah said he had not received any such military intelligence report and that it was unacceptable for Raja Petra to have made such a claim,

When reporters asked Najib about it at Wednesday's press conference, he said: “Why are you interested in garbage? Why comment when everything is total lies, fabrication and total garbage.”

Asked Raja Petra’s motive for making such a claim, Najib said: "I don’t know. You better ask him. Why ask me?”

“I have no conclusion except it’s a desperate and pathetic attempt to discredit and taint my political image.”

Asked if he believed it was political motivated, Najib said: “I can’t see any other reason.”

Later on Wednesday, Khairy also denied ever having received such an intelligence report.

He said he had given his statement to the police on Tuesday night.

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