PARIS (Aug 2): A close associate of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been charged in France over alleged kickbacks in the 2002 sale of submarines to his country, a judicial source told AFP on Tuesday.
Abdul Razak Baginda (AFP file photo) advised Najib when the now-prime minister was defence minister between 2000 and 2008. Najib oversaw the deal worth nearly one billion euros (US$1.18 billion) to buy two Scorpene-class submarines and one Agosta-class submarine from French naval dockyards unit DCN, which is linked to French defence group Thales.
An investigation into the deal was launched in 2010 in response to a complaint from Malaysian rights group Suaram. As part of the deal DCN agreed to pay 30 million euros to Thales' Asian unit, Thales International Asia (Thint Asia).