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Thursday, June 4, 2009
Najib denies any links with Altantuya
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak meeting the Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing today. - Reuters pic
BEIJING, June 4 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has again said he “had nothing to do with” Altantuya Shaariibuu, laughing off the federal opposition’s attempts to link him to the murdered Mongolian model whose killers now face the gallows.
“There’s no evidence,” Najib told the Associated Press in Beijing where he is visiting in the footsteps of his father, second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein who opened ties with communist China.
“They’ve not offered any evidence at all ... I have sworn in the name of God, of Allah, that I had nothing to do with her and I can’t go beyond that.”
The prime minister added what he described as a “tongue in cheek comment,” saying the fact that Shaariibuu was staying at “a two-star run down hotel” at the time of her death was further indication that he had not been involved with her.
“If she was my girlfriend, she will be totally insulted if I put her (there),” he said with a laugh.
Opposition leaders have repeatedly tried to link Najib to Shaariibuu’s death. The 28-year-old Mongolian model and translator was having an affair with his close friend and aide Abdul Razak Baginda when she was shot on Oct. 19, 2006. Her body was then blown up in a forest outside Kuala Lumpur, and only fragments were found.
The opposition had claimed in various election campaigns and in cyberspace that his close association with Abdul Razak makes him suspect.
Abdul Razak has acknowledged the affair but was acquitted last October of abetting the slaying. Elite special services policemen Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar were sentenced to death in April for her murder, though the trial never established what their motive was.
They have appealed.
Controversial blogger and Malaysia Today news portal editor Raja Petra Kamarudin is on the run and a fugitive after skipping bail in several cases incluidng criminal defamation, sedition and Internal Security Act (ISA) related to his postings linking Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to the murder.
Police had also banned any mention of Altantuya in several recent by-elections.