To all Supporters of the Ops Scorpene Campaign,
Since the last Ops Scorpene fundraising events held in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh and London the second half of last year, SUARAM has received numerous messages, queries and questions on the progress of the Scorpene case that we have filed at the French courts.
We extend our apologies for the silence and wanted very much to come back to you much sooner with news on progress of the case, but unfortunately could not, as the courts in France were taking much longer than expected to decide on matters.
During these past weeks, we have been in touch with our lawyers, William Bourdon and Joseph Breham regularly, and with every passing week, they tell us that the decision by the courts is very close, and the waiting time will end very soon.
We learnt however that the delay in the appointment of the judge was steeped in much political developments and considerations both in France and Malaysia, given the high profile nature of the case.
As both countries will likely have their general elections this year, the stakes are high for politicians who were allegedly involved in the procurement of the 2 Scorpene submarines, back in 2002.
Our lawyers have informed us that part of the reason for the delay was the public prosecutors own objection to remove the case from his purview and move it up to the open courts. After many weeks of uncertainty, this hurdle was overcome as the public prosecutor withdrew his objections paving the way for the courts proceedings to commence.
We also received unverified information of possible interference into the public prosecutors findings, and how efforts were being made to delay the case until after the French General elections expected in the middle of this year.
Given this scenario, the French judiciary has been very careful in their scrutiny of the findings made and will leave no stone unturned, studying the preliminary findings with microscopic lens before arriving at the decision to appoint a judge to preside over the case.
Complex as it may seem, and despite the long waiting time, we have received very positive instructions by our lawyers to pay a deposit amounting to Euro 1000, for the civil suit to commence. The next step will be the appointment of the judge.
So, we wait, and continue in anticipation and hope that this case will move forward with certainty in order to identify the culprits behind the kickbacks and commissions paid and the corrupt practices involved.
We beg your patience over the delay and long wait and shall immediately make a public announcement when we have news of the court decision.
SUARAM expresses its deepest thanks once again for your trust and support.