PKR’s Subang MP R Sivarasa today denied the allegation of self-exiled blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin that he coached private investigator P Balasubramaniam on his first statutory declaration related to murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.
In a lengthy blog posting today, Sivarasa said Raja Petra’s Aug 14 blog post contained “malicious fiction” and was the blogger’s “usual spin of mixing truth and fiction” for dramatic effect.
“Unfortunately for him, lies remain lies,” he said.
Sivarasa (left) said it was true that Raja Petra, Balasubramaniam and he adjourned to an Italian restaurant after a meeting at lawyer M Puravalen’s house on July 2, 2008.
However, he said, they were at the restaurant as Puravalen had a “pre-arranged dinner commitment” with other friends, not to discuss any press conference.
“In fact, Bala was quite open about his SD and mentioned the content to the others present,” he said.
Sivarasa added that senior lawyer Americk Sidhu, who as Balasubramaniam’s lawyer, had drafted the first SD “after weeks of discussions and meetings with Bala”, was also present at the restaurant.
“It is quite far-fetched to suggest a scenario where I am coaching Bala in front of his own lawyer and people I had just met for the first time. Americk was also present at the press conference the next day at the PKR headquarters,” he said.
‘Why wasn’t Bala charged?’
Also “fiction”, he said, was Raja Petra’s claim that Balasubramaniam were well-acquainted with the police Special Action Force (UTK) officers Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar, who were found guilty of murdering Altantuya.
“It is false that Bala knew Sirul or Azilah and that fact was made known to me and Puravalen.
“If Bala had truly known Sirul and Azilah, he would probably have been charged together with them,” Sivarasa said.
In fact, he added, Balasubramaniam was remanded for two weeks after Altantuya’s murder, but was released without being charged.
Sivarasa also denied claims that he had offered to arrange a financier for the private eye if he gave an interview to Malaysiakini to smear the names of businessman Deepak Jaikishan and Umno deputy minister Hamzah Zainuddin.
“I do not go around paying anyone to make false statements. I would have better use for the millions of ringgit that would have been needed to do that, which I don’t have in the first place.
Sivarasa added that Americk was also “fully aware of all the moves that Deepak and Hamzah made” and had documented the affair to expose the matter.
“He (Raja Petra) might also want to check with his own wife, Marina (Lee Abdullah) as she was present throughout,” he said.
Sivarasa also denied that PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim had arranged for a Chinese tycoon to assist Balasubramaniam financially.
‘Raja Petra arranged funds for Bala’
“Americk has in fact informed me…that it was (Raja Petra) himself who organised some financial help for Bala after he uploaded the interviews that Bala did in Singapore in November 2009, which were widely reported on the Internet,” he said.
By then, he said, Balasubramaniam had already spent more than a year overseas.
Sivarasa said that Raja Petra in his blog post had also “mischievously” tried to discredit him by claiming that he did a U-turn by going against a company he had represented, now that PKR was in the government in Selangor.
“I have never represented Sri Aman Development against MBPJ or in any case for that matter. That is fiction… It is true that I acted for MBPJ when Sri Aman Development sued MBPJ in a judicial review.
“So (Raja Petra)’s words such as ‘U-turn’, ‘changed sides’, ‘turncoat’ are all interesting sounding, but in essence mischievous and false statements,” he said.
Sivarasa said the blogger’s insinuation that human rights NGO Suaram had coached Balasubramaniam on what to tell French investigators probing the Malaysian purchase of French submarines was also “foolish”.
“(Raja Petra) himself knew at all times that Bala gave his statement to the French investigators in the presence of his lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon, whose seniority, experience and public profile is well-known,” he said.