French cops quiz Bala in marathon session


French judicial police and investigators interviewed Bala for more than six hours yesterday, according to Tian Chua.

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The interview began at 2.00pm French time (8.00pm Malaysian time) and extended past 5.00pm, well after normal working hours in France, said the parliamentarian, who has been keeping abreast with developments there. Bala was questioned at the National Financial Investigation Division (DNIF) of the Central Directorate of Judicial Police (DCPJ) along Rue des Trois Fontanots in Nanterre.

The probe is believed to focus on the background to a submarine deal.

French interest in the case may be viewed from a larger concern over the state of French politics in recent times. Last Friday, the BBC website carried an analysis ‘How “rotten” is France’s politics?

William Bourdon
William Bourdon - Photo source:

Bala and his lawyer Manjeet Singh are expected to call on a renowned human rights lawyer in France, William Bourdon (right), at 10.00am today. Bourdon, a former Secretary General of the International Federation of Human Rights (1995-2000), is known for taking legal action in France against former Serbian and Rwandan leaders implicated in crimes against humanity. He has also represented Franco-Chilean families who suffered under the oppressive former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. More details on the Human Rights Watch website here. (Update: In the event, they met Joseph Breham, the other French lawyer acting for Suaram.)

The Asia Sentinel recently reported:

… French lawyers William Bourdon, Renaud Semerdjian and Joseph Breham put an end to that when they filed it with Parisian prosecutors on behalf of the Malaysian human rights organization Suaram, which supports good-government causes.

Judges in the Paris Prosecution Office have been probing a wide range of corruption charges involving similar submarine sales and the possibility of bribery and kickbacks to top officials in France, Pakistan and other countries. The Malaysian piece of the puzzle was added in two filings, on Dec. 4, 2009 and Feb. 23 this year….

“Over the past years, serious cases have been investigated in France by judges involving DCN,” lawyer Renaud Semerdjian told Asia Sentinel in a telephone interview. “This is not the first case of this kind that is being investigated. There are others in Pakistan and there are some issues about India. To a certain extent, every time weapons of any kind have been provided, suspicion of violation of the law may be very high.”…

In the current complaint in Paris, the issue revolves around what, if anything, Razak Baginda’s Perimekar company did to deserve €114 million. Zainal Abidin, the deputy defense minister at the time of the sale, told parliament that Perimekar had received the amount – 11 percent of the sale price of the submarines – for “coordination and support services.” The Paris filing alleges that there were neither support nor services.

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14 Jul 2010 8.54am

Those who have lived in France understand the French only work past 5pm ONLY if its very serious..

13 Jul 2010 7.53pm

(Someone) is either shivering or peeing on his pants right now.

Loh Yeow Boo - Penang
Loh Yeow Boo - Penang
13 Jul 2010 6.07pm

it is a marathon because (of translation difficulties)…

14 Jul 2010 1.13pm

Are you insinuating that no Malaysian speaks French?

Or are you saying that no French speaks English?

13 Jul 2010 2.53pm

Well, the French authorities will probe to their satisfaction. Well, it won’t even have a dent towards those BN goons.

It’s just a minor commission to my crony.

Let’s just ponder how the conclusion might come to from France.

13 Jul 2010 2.34pm

What could Bala possibly tell the French investigators? He did not work for Perimekar nor was he a confidant of Razak Baginda. If the issue revolves around “what if anything Perimekar did to deserve €114 million” then Bala can’t shed any light on this. He could perhaps shed light on what Altantunya possibly did to deserve her USD500,000… but this is certainly not what the French are after.

13 Jul 2010 12.29pm

Looks like there is no fairness and justice in this world… When i read an article about the Cambodian government, i come to the conclusion that there is no justice on earth. Sad but true!!! My question is, are there any shared interests (Re: Submarine deals) between the Malaysian government and the French??? Friends, the only way of fighting abuse of power, mismanagement of funds and massive corruptions is through ballot box comes GE 13. A lot of us are still very blind and petty with the PR government… If we think that 52 years are still not long enough…… Read more »

14 Jul 2010 1.15pm
Reply to  kee

So the Pakatan is perfect? That it is so holy that nobody can say anything about it?

What makes you the judge and the executioner of what other people can or cannot say about any and all Pakatan led state government?

Would Pakatan led government automatically means “better”?

Where is your brain? Or do you even have one?

15 Jul 2010 5.06pm
Reply to  Pearl

PR is not automatically better but at least it is not so corruptible. How about that!! unless you condone buying of adun and buy election.

Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger
17 Jul 2010 5.07pm
Reply to  Pearl

Perhaps Pakatan Rakyat may not be perfect but it cannot get any worse than BN.So there’s nothing to lose if we vote for Pakatan Rakyat but chances are there that it could be better for Malaysia.