PRESS STATEMENT : 11 JULY 2013
The OpsScorpene Case in Paris – At a Cross Road.
SUARAM took a bold step in 2009 to pursue the corruption case involving the purchase of two SCORPENE submarines by the Malaysian Ministry of Defence from the French supplier, DCNS.
The decision to lodge a corruption complaint in the French court was because SUARAM faced brickwall after brickwall from the Malaysian authorities.
From the complaint lodge and after almost two years of initial investigations, the French authorities found enough evidence to appoint two judges to lead a court inquiry as per the French Judicial System.
Malaysians were filled with excitement, hope and encouragement that the truth may finally be revealed, even though if it is through an overseas court.
The first two fund raising dinners organized to raise funds to pay for the case was greatly supported by the public as Malaysians adopted the case as a People’s Initiative to fight against corruption.
As expected, the legal journey is a long and slow process and meanwhile the EURO 3,000 a month retainer fee for our French legal team needs to be paid. The Malaysian OpsScorpene Team serves pro-bono and often times having to face harassment and intimidation from the authorities.
The dwindling funds left the OpsScorpene Team with little choice but to organize yet another fund raising dinner scheduled for Friday 19th July 2013.
Sadly, the public response and support this time round is all but luke-warm. With under 10 days to go, less than 50% of the targeted tables have been purchased.
The Fund Raising dinner will definitely go on as scheduled, the OpsScorpene Case is now at a difficult cross road.
Although there have been slow but positive developments on the French side, the OpsScorpene Team is unable to reveal too much at any point in time as it may derail the court process. However, the Malaysian public is fast losing patience having seen little progress. Thus it is not surprising that there is luke-warm support for the fund raising dinner this time round.
However the truth remains that the empty coffers have resulted in the second quarter French legal retainer fee being left outstanding. We need funds to continue pursuing the case.
Thus Malaysians will have to decide if indeed we want to continue to unite and pursue Truth and Justice. It would be a grave disappointment to our future generation if this mother of all corruption case is to be dropped at this point.
The French courts have received great cooperation from the Hong Kong authorities in revealing the movements of illicit funds. Many names of individuals and companies have surfaced linking to politicians and political parties.
Do we drop this case now because of lack of funds; what path do we take now?
The ball is in the court of the Malaysian public.
Ops Scorpene Team