Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Paris court can't touch us, says Zahid Hamidi
Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday insisted that the French courts have no jurisdiction to summon Malaysians to testify in the ongoing inquiry into the Malaysian purchase of French submarines.
“Who are they to issue a warrant of arrest? We are not subjected to French laws,” he said at a press conference after an official visit by the Thai army chief at the Defence Ministry, aired in full by Mob.tv.
Ahmad Zahid (right) was asked to comment on the statement made by French lawyer Joseph Breham, who is representing human rights NGO Suaram in the civil case on the submarine buys at the French courts.
Breham had said that the presiding judge has the power to issue an international arrest warrant if a subpeona is rejected, including putting out a “red alert” with Interpol.
Ahmad Zahid, who previously said he was willing to testify, later said that neither he or anyone from his ministry will cooperate with the inquiry.
Ahmad Zahid is on the list of Suaram’s list of witnesses, which was approved by investigating judge Roger Le Loire.
However, this does not mean that all seven witnesses, including Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his associate Abdul Razak Baginda, will be subpoenaed by the inquiry.
Why double standard on 'burger protest'?
Meanwhile, on a separate issue, Ahmad Zahid sidestepped opposition claims that Umno managed to fill the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Saturday for its anniversary event as it had provided buses and food.
Instead, he turned the tables on the opposition by claiming that Bersih 3.0 protesters were paid “RM200 or RM300” to rally on April 28.
“(PAS spiritual leader) Nik Aziz (Nik Mat) admitted to giving people money... this is political bribery,” he said, adding that Umno’s rally was peaceful unlike Bersih 3.0.
He also hit out at Bersih 3.0 co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan for double standards, after she decried invasion of privacy when small traders set up a burger stall in front of her home in protest over their alleged April 28 losses.
“(Ambiga) feels that street demonstrations are democratic and do not disrupt public peace, but selling burgers in front of her house is an invasion of privacy. Why is it that they make noise when it hits them but not when it happens to others?” he asked.