Malaysia submarine deal: Political analyst says $47 million payment not used to bribe

Malaysia submarine deal: Political analyst says $47 million payment not used to bribe
PHOTO: The Straits Times

PETALING JAYA: Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda said that while he was paid €30million (S$47 million) to act as a consultant in the Scorpene submarine deal in 2002, none of the money was used to bribe officials.

Abdul Razak told the Financial Times that he was paid the sum to consult on the French deal, lobby for it and oversee the eight years of its execution.

"It was a legitimate agreement. I did my job and I got paid for it.

"And I never paid any official," Abdul Razak said.

The US$1.2 billion (S$1.69 billion) arms deal has been riddled with allegations of corruption and kickbacks.

Abdul Razak, who is now the director of British-based charity Islamic Peace Foundation, added that he had never been a paid adviser to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who was Defence Minister at the time.

He said that he had written speeches for Najib and had accompanied him on foreign trips, but had rarely talked to him about the submarine deal.

Abdul Razak was responding to the indictment of Thales Inter-national Asia's former president Bernard Baiocco last December for active bribery of foreign public officials.

The London-based newspaper also reported that the Paris prosecutor's office confirmed Baiocco had been placed under formal investigation on suspicion of "bribery of foreign public officials" and "complicity in misuse of corporate assets".

The inquiry relates to the sale of the pair of Scorpene-class attack submarines from a joint venture between Thales and defence company DCN, now called DCNS.

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