Malaysiakini News

PI Bala's family sues Najib, Rosmah over exile

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The family of the late P Balasubramaniam is suing nine individuals, including Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, for damages for being forced into exile in India for nearly five years.

 

The move comes after the discovery of "new evidence", said the family's lawyer Americk Sidhu in a press statement today.

 

"This claim has only been filed now due to the very recent emergence of new evidence linking the sequence of events which took place on the night of July 3, and morning of July 4, 2008 and which now appears to implicate all the defendants as having combined to play significant roles in perpetrating this alleged wrongdoing against the plaintiffs and the deceased," said Americk.

 

Americk did not disclose the nature of this "new evidence" but said he and his clients believe they now have "more than sufficient" evidence to prove the claims against the defendants.

 

Among the other defendants named in the action include two of Najib's brothers, Johari and Nazim , senior lawyer Cecil Abraham and his son, Sunil Abraham , who is also a lawyer.

 
Also named are businessman Deepak Jaikishan , commissioner of oaths Zainal Abidin Muhayat and lawyer M Arunampalam .
 

Americk ( right ) said the writ of summons and statement of claim were filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on the June 11.

 

The plaintiffs are Balasubramaniam's wife AS Selvi and her three children.

 

'RM1.9mil in compensation'

 

"The plaintiffs are claiming loss and damage occasioned as a result of being forcibly removed from Malaysia against their respective wills on July 4, 2008, allegedly arranged by threat and/or inducement, and perpetrated, by the defendants, who are alleged to have conspired with each other in ensuring the plaintiffs and the late PI Bala (private investigator Balasubramaniam) were evacuated from this country and made to reside in Chennai, India for almost five years," he said.

 

Americk said the writ of summons were in the process of being served on the defendants but he was forced to go public at this stage as there had been press reports on the matter that were not "entirely precise".

 

He said the defendants were being sued in their personal capacities and therefore this had no intended links to the Malaysian government or any political parties.

 

"The remedies sought are purely civil in nature and are based on allegations of a conspiracy between all the defendants using unlawful means or unlawful acts to cause injury or damage to the plaintiffs and the deceased," he said.

 

Malaysiakini  understands Balasubramaniam's family is seeking more than RM1.9 million in expenses incurred as a result of their exile including lodging, schooling, transportation, lost of income and loan payment.

 

They are also seeking an unspecified amount in general and special damages.

 

SD conspiracy

 

Balasubramaniam ( photo above ), first shot to prominence after he appeared at a press conference on July 3, 2008, linking then Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in a statutory declaration (SD).

 

In the SD, he claimed Najib had asked his confidante Abdul Razak Baginda to handle Altantuya who was allegedly seeking her cut of a commission in a multi-billion ringgit submarine deal in which she acted as a translator, who in turned hired Balasubramaniam to keep the woman away.

 

However, Balasubramaniam abruptly disclaimed the SD on the next day with a second SD at a hastily convened press conference and was subsequently bundled out of the country together with his family and was never heard of again until the following year.

 

In 2009, Balasubramaniam re-emerged in a video interview and claimed he was made to sign the second SD under duress.
 
Balasubramaniam claimed he was forced to sign the second SD in the presence of Zainal Abidin and Arunampalam. He also stood by his first SD.
 
In 2012, Deepak ( above ), who is also named as a defendant, in an interview with  Malaysiakini   admitted his involvement in getting Balasubramaniam to retract his first SD on instructions by people whom he claimed would be affected by the fallout.

 

Following this admission, Balasubramaniam said it was a vindication of his claims which he had maintained all the while.

 

Bala returned to the country in early 2013 but  passed away in March at the age of 53.

 

A day after Balasubramaniam's passing, his lawyer Americk made a stunning claim at the Bar Council's annual general assembly, alleging that prominent lawyer Cecil Abraham admitted he was involved in drafting the second SD on Najib's instructions.

 

No justice for Altantuya

 

The Bar Council has since initiated an internal inquiry on Abraham, who has refused to comment on the matter.

 

A ltantuya ( right ), who was allegedly pregnant, was found shot dead and blown up with military-grade C4 explosives in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam in October 2006.

 

Two police commandos Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar - both were on Najib's security detail - were charged for the murder while Najib's confidante Abdul Razak was charged for abetting to murder.

 

The Shah Alam High Court acquitted Abdul Razak in 2008 but found Azilah and Sirul guilty in 2009.

 

The decision was criticised as it ruled that the motive of the murder, and by extension from whom Azilah and Sirul received their instructions, were  not essential  to the case.

 

However, their convictions was last year overturned by the Court of Appeal which cited fatal flaws in the trial as the prosecution was adamant in not calling Najib's former aide-de-camp Musa Safri as a witness, who Balasubramaniam claimed was privy to the circumstances of the case.

 

The prosecution is appealing to the Federal Court on June 23.

THE DEEPAK INTERVIEW

Cash for Bala paid by PM's brother, claims Deepak

THE BALA INTERVIEW

Part 1: PI Bala: They tried to bribe me... again

Part 2: Deputy minister offered to 'settle' Bala case

Part 3: I fear for my life, says PI Bala

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