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Friday, August 5, 2011

Kes Scorpene: Pengusiran William Bourdon Gemparkan Rakyat Perancis!!

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) dalam satu kenyataan sebentar tadi menyatakan bahawa pengusiran peguam Perancis yang terkenal, William Bourdon dari Malaysia merupakan satu rahmat buat kes skandal kapal selam Scorpene yang mengaitkan nama Najib Altantuya.

Menurut pengarahnya, Cyntiha Gabriel, Bourdon dikerumuni puluhan wartawan negaranya sebaik tiba di Lapangan Terbang Charles de Gaulle, Paris yang ingin mengetahui kisahnya diusir pihak berkuasa Malaysia.

Bourdon yang diupah SUARAM bagi menyiasat kes tersebut, diusir selepas mengadakan sesi penerangan di Sunshine Square, Pulau Pinang, bulan lalu.

Menurut SUARAM lagi, Bourdon adalah seorang peguam yang amat dihormati lagi disegani di Perancis kerana keupayaannya menyelesaikan beberapa kes besar, dan pengusirannya amat mengejutkan dan secara tidak langsung menarik minat rakyat negara itu yang sebelum ini tidak langsung mengetahui kes Scorpene dan Malaysia, terutamanya nama Najib Altantuya.

Tambah Cynthia lagi, selepas pengusiran Bourdon, pihaknya meneruskan sesi penerangan dan sasaran kutipan dana untuk tabung Scorpene melebihi jangkaan dua kali ganda, terima kasih kepada Hishamuddin Hussein dan Najib Altantuya yang mensensasikan hal ini sama ada di Malaysia mahupun Perancis.

Bourdon dijangka akan menamatkan penyiasatan skandal yang menggemparkan dunia dan mencabar integriti presiden negara itu, Nicolas Sarkozy dan Eropah amnya.

Kes berkenaan dijangka akan mula dibicarakan di Mahkamah Awam Paris, awal bulan depan.


The deportation of French human rights lawyer, William Bourdon, has turned out to be instrumental in drumming up interest over the Scorpene case both in Malaysia and France.

Bourdon, who is hired by Suaram to investigate the case, was deported to Paris after he spoke at an Ops Scorpene fundraising dinner in Penang last month.

According to Suaram, word of his deportation had reached Paris and Bourdon was swarmed by the French media at the Charles de Gaulle airport.

The soaring media interest was also based on the fact that Suaram is the first foreign NGO to file a case in the French court.

“Bourdon is a high-profile lawyer in France but the French were unaware of his involvement in the Scorpene case,” Suaram director, Cynthia Gabriel, told a media conference this morning.

“His deportation has spurred immense public and media interest over there, even more than we could have ever imagined. So I we have the Najib administration to thank for this!”

Back in Malaysia, Suaram’s subsequent fundraising dinner in Petaling Jaya and public forum in Ipoh saw a bigger turnout than expected.

Tables were snapped up on the night of the PJ fundraising dinner itself while the anticipated crowd of 200 ballooned to 500 in Ipoh.

“The deportation provoked people to question what skeletons lay in the government’s closet,” Gabriel said. “It was a major mistake by the government because the campaign now no longer belongs to Suaram but to the Malaysian people who want to see the truth surface.”

Suaram secretariat member, Teh Yee Keong, added that a group of former army personnel had attended the forum in Ipoh and shared their observations on military spending.

Mounting challenge

The three Ops Scorpene fundraisers have added RM250,000 into Suaram’s coffers – more than double the targeted amount – but Gabriel said that the sum was far from adaquate in covering the legal fees.

While Bourdon’s professional services are being offered pro bono, his expenses and other legal processes in France are being borne by Suaram.

“Our lawyers have informed us that as a first step the instruction judge requires documentation to be translated into French which will cost an exorbitant 20,000 euro (RM84,920),” Gabriel explained.
“The legal cost is a mounting challenge as we don’t know what the end figure will be. But we don’t want to look at external sources, we want it to be purely funded by Malaysians.”

“We are profoundly humbled by the generous donations so far and we hope that Malaysians will continue supporting this cause because Suaram can’t do this alone.”

The Selangor and Penang governments have also individually pledged RM20,000 to the Scorpene case.

Meanwhile, Teh also said that two more fundraising dinners are expected to be held within the coming months in London and Kuching.

“Both dinners are being organised by individuals and not Suaram,” he clarified. “Bourdon will be speaking in London and will address the Kuching crowd via teleconference. But we don’t have any further details of the events yet.”

Right now Suaram is keeping its fingers crossed that the case will proceed in the French open court as scheduled in September.

“The public prosecutor isn’t keen on having the case heard in the open court, but Bourdon is pushing for this because the judges in France are highly independent,” Gabriel said.

“At the prosecution level there is still a possibility of the prosecutor being influenced as the case is linked to a number of top French politicians as well as the former and current French presidents.”

Asked when Bourdon and Suaram are expected to meet next, Gabriel said that she hoped it would be in September as the instruction judge is meant to be selected then.

“Once the case is open all the beneficiaries of the commissions farmed out in the Scorpene deal will be made public,” she said. “All the documents will be made accessible

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