Razak Baginda Charged over French Submarine Deal

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Razak Baginda charged in France over alleged kickbacks in the sale of submarines to Malaysia.

Abdul Razak Baginda, who advised Najib when he was defence minister between 2000 and 2008, has been charged in France over alleged kickbacks in the 2002 sale of submarines to Malaysia, a judicial source told AFP today, FMT reported.

Razak was charged in France on Jul 18 with “active and passive complicity in corruption” and “misappropriation of corporate assets”, the French judicial source said.

A probe into the submarine deal was launched in 2010 in response to a complaint from Malaysian rights group Suaram.

The deal was worth nearly €1 billion to purchase two Scorpene-class submarines and one Agosta-class submarine from French naval dockyards unit DCN, which is linked to French defence group Thales.

As part of the deal, DCN were to pay €30 million to Thales’ Asian unit, Thales International Asia (Thint Asia).

The probe revealed that another company, Terasasi, was paid an equivalent sum for what was billed as consultancy work. Investigators, however, believe it was really a front for kickbacks. Terasasi’s main shareholder was Razak.

Four French defence industry executives have already been charged since the probe began.

Two of them – Philippe Japiot and Dominique Castellan – were former chairmen of DCNI.

The other two – Bernard Baiocco and Jean-Paul Perrier – were former heads of Thint Asia.

All four men have denied the charges against them.

Related report: Jul 21, NGOs Call for MACC Case on Scorpene Deal to be Reopened