RAJA PETRA calls TV3's bluff, says 'now everyone is listening'
Thursday, 14 April 2011 Super Admin
(Harakahdaily) -- Self-exiled blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, who was interviewed last night by UMNO-owned television channel TV3, said the authorities could no longer brand him a "fugitive".
“If the government owned mainstream media goes all the way to Australia to interview me, that means my status is no longer fugitive mah! Get it?
"We can handle the spinning. But they can no longer call me 'fugitive blogger'. So who wins?” asked Petra in an article he wrote on his Malaysia Today, following intense reactions over the internet about his purported 'U-turn' over allegations that the prime minister's wife Rosmah Mansor had been personally involved in the murder of Mongolian negotiator Altantuya Shariibuu in 2006.
TV3, in what it called an exclusive interview with Petra in Perth, Australia, had suggested that Petra had now admitted he had been wrong in accusing Rosmah of being involved in the murder.
Petra also scoffed at critics who questioned why he allowed himself to be interviewed by TV3.
"Yes, TV3 gave me that opportunity to tell the story I have always told but no one appears to be listening. Suddenly everyone is listening, thanks to TV3.
"Sometimes we need a storm to get people’s attention. Maybe now the police will do what I have been asking them to do these last three years: that is, investigate my statutory declaration and ascertain the truth behind what Lt Kol Azmi Zainal Abidin alleged," said the plucky 61-year old who is a member of the Selangor royal family.
"I merely requested an investigation"
The murder trial concluded in 2009, with guilty verdict passed on two of the three men charged, both of whose facial identity had been carefully guarded from photographers. Najib's close aide Abdul Razak Baginda, who admitted to having a romantic affair with Altantuya, was however acquitted and had since left the country.
Since then, several allegations had been forwarded, including one by a witness in the trial, Razak's private detective P. Balasubramaniam, who claimed that Razak had told him that he (Razak) and Najib had both had sexual trysts with Altantuya. Altantuya's murder, he said, was also linked to her request for her share of kickbacks amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars with regard to the government's controversial purchase of France's Scorpene submarines.
In the interview aired on TV3's news bulletin, however, Petra said he had merely asked the police to investigate allegations by several closely-connected sources that Najib Razak and Rosmah were involved in the murder. Petra explained that he had asked fellow blogger Din Merican (left) to ask Anwar whether the source of information, one Lt Kol Azmi Zainal Abidin described as "number two in the Special Branch of the Military Intelligence", could be relied upon. Din had then told Petra that Anwar had trust in Azmi's intelligence.
He explained why he had made a statutory declaration dated June 18, 2008, the same which he had told online news portal Malaysiakini two years ago by revealing ‘his sources’ for his sensational allegation that Rosmah was at the crime scene, a forest clearing near Shah Alam, where remnants of Altantuya's body was found after being detonated.
While Petra said he had doubts about the story's credibility, he nevertheless reiterated calls for an investigation.
"It can't be that the Prime Minister's wife would want to go to such place; it's a jungle. I'm imagining, climbing up the hill, going into the jungle at night, at 12 midnight, I think it's quite impossible."
"In my SD, I said that these people had told (me) and for these people to come forward and tell their stories, and for the authority to investigate and call these people."
"That is what I've written in the SD (statutory declaration). I've never raised any accusation. I didn't say I knew that the Prime Minister's wife was at the scene at that time," the transcript quoted him as saying.
Din confirms story
Several UMNO-controlled media had however claimed that Petra's latest statement was proof of his admission that Najib and Rosmah were innocent.
Hours later, Petra shot back, listing down four news articles from the media, telling readers to make comparisons to what he had actually said.
Meanwhile, Din Merican had issued a passionate denial on his blog, expressing surprise that his name was mentioned by Petra.
"I have no disagreements with Prime Minister Najib. Let me state that I am not anti-Najib; in fact, a number of commentators in my blog have severely criticised me for being 'soft' on our Prime Minister and his policies," said Din.
He however confirmed Petra's claim that he was asked to get clearance from Anwar about Azmi's credibility.
"But it is a fact that Raja Petra called me to seek confirmation from Anwar Ibrahim regarding the reliability of a certain military intelligence officer. When I received confirmation from the PKR de facto leader, I relayed it to Raja Petra. That was all to the whole matter."
RPK says TV3 interview to renew focus on Altantuya murder
Thursday, 14 April 2011 Super Admin
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RPK speaks about the TV3 interview he gave two months ago in Australia
(The Malaysian Insider) - Raja Petra Kamarudin has defended his interview aired with TV3, saying that it will renew focus on allegations surrounding the Altantuya Shariibuu murder.
He also explained that he was repeating his reports, and that his June 18, 2008 sworn statement was actually against a military intelligence officer and not Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
“I realise the danger of recorded interviews as opposed to live shows like the TV1 Blog programme. But I know I can handle even the toughest interviews.
“After all, what I would be saying is going to be the truth anyway. So why worry? Certainly they are going to spin it but then that is a risk I would have to take,” the Malaysia Today news portal editor wrote in the website today.
The pro-government TV3 ran excerpts of the hour-long interview last night, touching a firestorm of comments questioning the timing ahead of the Sarawak election this weekend.
TV3 said it will run another part of the interview in its prime-time Buletin Utama news programme tonight.
“Undoubtedly, a storm is going to be created. I knew that. But maybe I need that storm so that the story of my statutory declaration can be brought back to focus and corrected.
“Somehow, the statutory declaration I signed and what I actually said in that statutory declaration has been lost. And it has been lost because the focus is on my so-called allegation rather than what I actually said in the statutory declaration,” Raja Petra said.
The blogger was interviewed in Perth during his tour of Australia last month after spending nearly two years in the United Kingdom which he fled to avoid court trials for defamation. All cases against him have been dropped.
Raja Petra also stressed he did not accuse Rosmah or two army officers were at the scene of Altantuya’s murder in late 2006.
“Most seem to not understand that I did not make any allegation against Rosmah or the two Lt-Kols. That was not what my statutory declaration said.
“I made an allegation against a third Lt-Kol. And this third Lt-Kol is Lt-Kol Azmi Zainal Abidin, the number two in the special branch of the military intelligence,” he wrote.
In his column, he said he met Nik Azmi Nik Daud, then an aide to Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, in June 2008 before making his SD.
Raja Petra said Nik Azmi told him that “Lt-Kol Azmi Zainal Abidin... has a confidential report that proves that Rosmah, Lt-Kol Aziz Buyong and his wife Lt-Kol Norhayati Hassan were present at the scene of Altantuya’s murder at the time she was murdered.”
But he also added that this was not a new revelation and that he has been saying so repeatedly since signing the statutory declaration.
“I told TV3 that what I am about to say is not something new. I have written and spoken about this many times before. I have even made my statement to the police during my ISA detention. And this statement was recorded by the police.
“But what I told the police has been hidden from public view. What I said has been ignored totally. Instead, the story of my allegation against Rosmah and the husband and wife Lt-Kols is what is repeated again and again by all and sundry,” he said.
Raja Petra was arrested under the Internal Security Act following his sworn statement.
After he was released, he was charged with criminal defamation and sedition, prompting him to flee with his family to Britain.