What really happened in the 48 hours after PI Bala unveiled his first SD on 3 July 2008? Why did he sign a second SD that contradicted his first SD barely a few hours later? And where did he disappear to for more than a year just hours after signing his second SD? And which SD was signed under duress, the first or second? Today, Malaysia Today will answer all those questions that have been on the minds of Malaysians since July last year.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Q 1. After the press conference held at the PKR headquarters on the 3rd July 2008 you returned to the office of your lawyer where you stayed until about 4.30 pm.
A. Yes that is correct
Q 2. Who was with you in your lawyer’s office at that time?
A. My lawyer Americk Sidhu, ASP Suresh and my ex-assistant Suras Kumar.
Q 3. What time did you leave your lawyers office?
A. About 4.45 pm. I left with ASP Suresh and Suras Kumar. ASP Suresh had his car parked underneath the office. Suras left on his own motorcycle.
Q 4. Where were you intending to go?
A. I had a conversation over the telephone with ASP Tonny from the Brickfields police station earlier that afternoon. He wanted to meet me to discuss the contents of my 1st statutory declaration which I had released at the press conference that morning. He told me he was off-duty at 6.30 pm and suggested we meet informally at an ‘ikan bakar’ stall near the police station. I agreed. ASP Suresh was to drive me there after leaving my lawyers office.
Q 5. What did ASP Tonny want to see you to discuss?
A. He sounded glad that I had released my 1st statutory declaration as he was the investigating officer in the Altantuya murder trial and was therefore involved in the case. I think he just wanted to have an informal chat with me.
Q 6. So you had met him before?
A. Yes, he had interviewed me in relation to the Altantuya murder previously (during the murder investigation).
Q 7. Did you manage to meet with ASP Tonny?
A. No. After leaving my lawyers office, ASP Suresh suggested we go to Cheras instead. I informed ASP Tonny that I could not make it that evening and that I would see him the next day.
Q 8. Why did ASP Suresh want to go to Cheras?
A. He had some business dealing in copper wires and he needed to do some work at his scrap yard there.
Q 9. Was ASP Suresh a police officer at that time?
A. He was an officer with the IPK D9 division CID but had been suspended pending some internal investigations conducted by the ACA.
Q 10. Where did you go after leaving Cheras?
A. ASP Suresh needed to go to Rawang to burn some of his scrap wires. We left Cheras at about 7.30 pm on the way to Rawang. We were still in ASP Suresh’s car.
Q 11. What happened on the journey from Cheras to Rawang?
A. ASP Suresh received some calls on his hand phone from persons I subsequently discovered were Dinesh and Deepak. They apparently wanted ASP Suresh to arrange a meeting with me. At first ASP Suresh did not agree to any meeting but finally agreed to meet in a Bak Kut Teh shop in Rawang.
Q 12. Did you go straight to the Bak Kut Teh shop?
A. No, we first went to the Kuala Garing area to burn some cables and wires. After that we went to the Bak Kut Teh shop where both Deepak and Dinesh were waiting for us.
Q 13. What did you discuss?
A. Deepak started talking to me to try and persuade me to withdraw my 1st statutory declaration. He mentioned to me that there was a red car outside my house in Rawang with military intelligence personnel in it, and that they knew my wife and children were at home.
Q 14. What was your reaction to this piece of information?
A. I was very concerned about this as my wife had called me on my hand phone while I was on my way to Rawang with ASP Suresh to inform me that there was a suspicious looking red car parked opposite our house and that the persons inside appeared to be watching the house. She had been informed of the presence of this car by a neighbour. I told her to lock the gates and to remain inside.
Q 15. What else did Deepak say?
A. He talked to me about the virtues of the present government and what a wonderful woman Rosmah was. He told me he was very good friends with Rosmah and how she visited his shop all the time. He then offered to pay me RM4 million to withdraw my 1st statutory declaration. I was rather stunned but before I could say anything ASP Suresh signaled me to refuse this offer. I said I was not interested in money and so Deepak said he could also organise the release of 5 Hindraf leaders in Kamunting, he could arrange for 528 Tamil schools to become fully-aided schools by the government, that he could get ASP Suresh’s job back and also give him RM4 million as well. He wanted to take me to Putrajaya and kept persisting but I refused to go.
Q 16. What happened next?
A. ASP Suresh asked Deepak to raise the offer to RM5 million and he agreed straight away. He also told me he was willing to organise a monthly payment of RM20,000.00 and that if there was anything else I wanted to put this in writing. He then made a few phone calls on his handphone and then told ASP Suresh to drive me to The Curve near One Damansara Utama.
Q 17. Were you negotiating with Deepak?
A. No, I did not say anything. ASP Suresh was doing all the talking and negotiating. I was more concerned with the safety of my family as I did not know what was going to happen to them.
Q 18. What happened next?
A. Deepak left by himself leaving his brother Dinesh with us. After about half an hour we all left in ASP Suresh’s car. Dinesh was seated in the front passenger seat and I sat in the rear seat. We reached The Curve about half an hour later. The time now was 11.45 pm.
Q 19. Why were you going to The Curve?
A. ASP Suresh told me we were going to meet a VIP there. When we reached the curve I suggested we go to the MacDonald’s restaurant but ASP Suresh said that was not a good idea because there were CCTV cameras there. We then proceeded to the Volkswagen showroom where a Malay gentleman arrived with his pregnant wife and Deepak.
Q 20. Who was this Malay gentleman?
A. I did not recognise him. I was just told he was a VIP Datuk. I did however recognise his wife.
Q 21. Did you speak to this Malay Datuk?
A. Yes, I was introduced to him by Deepak. I was very surprised when I realised who he was.
Q 22. What did this Malay Datuk talk to you about?
A. He told me he knew I had a family and asked me whether I loved them. I replied saying of course I loved my family. He then told me I should take good care of them as anything could happen to them. He then told me that if I wanted to avoid any problems with my family I should just follow Deepak’s instructions and everything would be OK. He told me I had to retract the contents of my 1st statutory declaration. This Malay Datuk then left immediately with his wife.