COMMENT Having had the privilege of looking at some of the Paris Papers on the Scorpene submarine scandal recently, it behoves me to give anxious landlubbers a ‘hitchhiker's guide' to this convoluted mesh of payments that have gone on to grease this most expensive (more than RM7 billion) arms purchase in Malaysia's history.
Since Suaram lodged its complaint with the French courts for a judicial review of the Scorpene contract in November 2009, the French prosecutors have certainly been busy with their investigations.
They have interviewed officials in the French state-owned defence company, DCN, and related companies such as Thales as well as officials in the French Defence Ministry.
They have looked into bank vaults and scrutinised contracts, memoranda of understanding, memoranda of intent, invoices, bank accounts of various people including Abdul Razak Baginda, the former close confidant of Prime Minister Najib Razak at the centre of the controversy.
There are also some rather telling internal confidential reports of DCN and the French Defence Ministry...