Friday, July 04, 2008

Detective retracts accusation against Malaysian deputy PM

Fri Jul 4, 2008 10:45am IST

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Reuters) - A Malaysian detective retracted on Friday allegations he made linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak to the brutal murder of a Mongolian woman amid a flurry of political scandals to grip the country.

The retraction came after Najib denied again on Thursday that he had ever met the victim, Altantuya Shaariibuu. One of his top political advisers, Abdul Razak Baginda, is being tried on charges of abetting the murder of the woman, who was shot in the head twice and her body blown up with explosives in 2006.

Najib denied he ever had a sexual relationship with her, or had conspired to cover up her murder, allegations made on Thursday by P. Balasubramaniam, a private detective who was working for Abdul Razak at the time of the murder.

Balasubramanian issued a legal deposition on Friday saying he was retracting "the entire contents" of his earlier statement, which was made "under duress".

The flurry of accusations and denials are stemming from a high-stakes battle for power in Malaysia, featuring mud-flying allegations about sex, lies, murder and sodomy.

In another surprising turn to the political scandals Malaysia is mired in, Najib also told reporters the young man who has accused opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy had turned to him for help because he was so traumatised. ... the rest here: Detective retracts accusation against Malaysian deputy PM Reuters India, India