Raja Petra draws attention to Altantuya’s trial

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — There will be two trials for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu. The first is the court case that began on June 18 last year but which seems to be meandering through the Shah Alam High Court with little coherence or urgency.

The second is the case which will begin on Oct 6 when webmaster Raja Petra Kamaruddin fights the charge of posting a seditious article titled “Let’s send the Altantutya murderers to hell.” The report implicated Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in the 2006 murder.

Raja Petra has hinted that some disclosures could be made in court. He challenged the government to repeal the Official Secrets Act so that he could furnish the court with evidence to fight the charge of sedition.

What makes you think I don’t have proof? What makes you think I don’t have documents,” he told reporters before he was charged in court on Tuesday. Fact is that it does not matter if he is only going to be armed with bluster and innuendos. When he gives evidence in October, he is going to have a platform to make more allegations and fire more missiles against Najib or anyone he chooses to implicate in the case.

The DPM has publicly denied these allegations. But he expected the ferocity of the attacks to increase after he was marked out by his party members as most suitable candidate to take over as party president under the succession plan which will see Abdullah stepping down before the term is over.

He knows that the Opposition wants to shake him and damage his credibility among Malaysians, and create the perception that the Barisan Nasional government is on the verge of imploding.

His supporters saw Raja Petra’s posting “Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell” as the first shot across the bow. Still, the jury is out on whether Najib did the right thing by responding officially through his press secretary to the website article.

Critics of this approach said that it only served to draw more attention to the report and put the DPM and his wife on the back foot while those in favour argued that if the DPM did not challenge allegations and innuendos about him and his wife, these assertions would soon be treated as facts.

But there appears a consensus that the police action was ill-timed. Raja Petra has been blogging for several years now and as he pointed out a few days ago, most of his articles would not pass the sedition or defamation test. So why did the police and Attorney-General’s Chambers decide to move on this report?

Najib can expect Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim to weigh in with his views now and when Raja Petra’s trial begins in October. For the Opposition and Najib’s critics, the game plan is simple: turn the sedition trial into the second Altantuya Shariibuu trial.

Full article here.

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RPK has refused to meet anyone since going to jail yesterday, not even his wife. And he’s refusing to post bail, even after the money has been collected by his wife from his supporters, and those who have vowed to walk with him.

But if anything, RPK’s willingness to go to jail and wait his time till the trial begins in October seems to be telling the powers-that-be, “I’m not afraid of you, do your worst”.

His article sparked interest again in a trial that seemed to have been forgotten by many. And because of his court hearing, and subsequent trial, even people who don’t read Malaysia-Today has now learnt about it.

What he has done has definitely drawn attention to the Altantuya trial. And if his trial in October can see some positive development in the Altantuya trial, all the better. What the authorities have done by charging him in court under the Seditions Act, is draw even MORE attention to the Altantuya trial. And perhaps a lot of unwanted attention towards Najib and his wife as well.

I don’t think he should be refusing bail, now that the people have shown such strong support. But if he feels that by staying in lockup until the trial in October will help push his point home, then I’m sure his supporters will be there for him too.

October is going to be one hell of a month.



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