Jasbir Singh Chahl, who was said to be the point-man in the purchase of the two Scorpene submarines, has denied that he has received a subpoena from the French judiciary.
“Following comments made by Suaram coordinator Cynthia Gabriel at a fundraising dinner on June 15, and subsequently reported by your news site, I wish to make clear that I have not received any subpoena from any jurisdiction in relation to any legal proceedings whatsoever,” he said in a two-paragraph statement to Malaysiakini.
“These are false and distressing allegations made by someone whom I do not know and indeed have never met.
“They are a total fabrication, an utter distortion of the truth and, I believe, part of a deliberate attempt to undermine my reputation and my credibility. I call for them to be immediately withdrawn,” he added.
Speaking at Suaram’s fundraising dinner on Saturday, Gabriel (right) said Jasbir was Abdul Razak Baginda’s right-hand man in Perimekar, the company that acted as the conduit for the procurement of the submarines, through which over RM500 million in alleged “commissions” had been channelled.
“As we sit at the dinner tables right this moment, a subpoena is on the way to Mr Jasbir Singh Chahl’s house,” she said.
She also claimed that Jasbir is willing to cooperate with Suaram in pursuing the case.
No further comment
When contacted by Malaysiakini, Jasbir refused to comment further on the matter.
“My lawyer advised me to issue only the statement,” he said.
In an immediate response, Gabriel told Malaysiakini that as far as Suaram is concerned, its lawyers have informed them that the court is in the process of issuing subpoenae to witnesses including Jasbir, on the same day as she made the announcement, which was last Saturday.
“We have no details on whether Jasbir has received it or not. It (The subpoena) could probably be on its way,” she said, adding that Suaram has not been in contact with Jasbir.
Suaram was the interested party that lodged a complaint with the French judiciary to start the probe into the alleged illegal kickbacks on the sale of the submarines from French shipbuilder DCNS.
The French courts had ruled that the NGO has locus standi to initiate the proceedings as a body concerned about transparency and corruption in Malaysia.
Abdul Razak himself was the close confidante of then-defence minister and present prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The former stands accused of accepting millions in “consultancy fees” on Najib’s behalf allegedly to ‘grease’ the deal.
Gabriel said that Jasbir was privy to a lot of information about the deal as he was point-man in the negotiations between DCNS and Perimekar.
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