Malaysian Police On Global Manhunt For Investigator Who Stirred Politics With Sex Claim
Balasubramaniam Perumal is believed to have gone into hiding, or is being hidden by unidentified parties, Malaysian Criminal Investigation Department director Bakri Zinin told reporters.
His disappearance has added to the bizarre political drama that has played out in Malaysia since March 8 general elections, when the ruling part was dealt a severe setback. Since then, both sides have traded allegations of sexual misconduct, conspiracies and assassination plots.
Balasubramaniam dropped a political bombshell on Thursday by stating in a sworn declaration that he was told Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak had sex with Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian translator who was shot and killed Oct. 19, 2006.
Shaariibuu's body was blown up with explosives in a forest outside Kuala Lumpur.
Bakri urged Balasubramaniam to come out of hiding, saying he has nothing to fear. "I give a guarantee of his safety if he comes to meet us. And he is free to bring a lawyer to the meeting," he said. "The police in the country have been put on alert to find him. We have informed Interpol ... as well as the police in neighboring countries," said Bakri.
Balasubramaniam made the claim about Najib at a news conference with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. He said the source of his information was Abdul Razak Baginda, a prominent political analyst who is on trial on charges of abetting the woman's murder. Abdul Razak is a close friend of Najib.
But less than 24 hours later, Balasubramaniam withdrew the statement, claiming he made it under duress. He issued a fresh statement Friday that said his earlier statement was false and that Abdul Razak never told him about any links between Najib and Shaariibuu.
Soon afterward, Balasubramaniam, his wife and three young children disappeared and could not be reached on their mobile phones, said N. Surendran, a lawyer for Balasubramaniam's nephew. The nephew, R. Kumaresan, lodged a report with police over the disappearance of his uncle and family.
"We are investigating all the reports ... we are seeking the public's help to find Balasubramaniam because even the (nephew) ... is not giving us his full cooperation," Bakri said.
Najib and Anwar are vying to be Malaysia's next prime minister and both face accusations that could destroy their political careers. Anwar has been accused of sodomizing his male aide. Both Najib and Anwar have denied the allegations. (International Herald Tribune)
***** Where oh where has this Bala guy gone to? One assumption that we can make is that, if the cops are looking high and low for him, then probably it is not Najib who is hiding him. Or is he?