Razak Baginda: I have not been charged in France over Scorpene deal

PETALING JAYA: Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda (pix) has denied that he has been charged in France over the purchase of Scorpene submarines in 2002.

A formal investigation has taken place, he said in a statement issued by his office on Tuesday evening.

“The French inquiry is on alleged corruption in the purchase of the Scorpene submarines in 2002. It must be emphasised that it's an ongoing inquiry and no formal charges in a court of law have been brought against any individual(s),” he said.

“French news reports on 19 July 2017 and 1 Aug 2017 have stated that individuals involved in the purchase have been ‘charged’. These reports have been carried in other mass media and are misleading. The term ‘charged’ in the context of the inquiry means placing the said individuals under ‘formal investigation’.”

He explained that the French legal process is different from Malaysia. In Malaysia, a person suspected of a crime is investigated and if there is sufficient evidence, the person is then charged in a court of law.

“The universal principle in any criminal proceeding is ‘a person is innocent until proven guilty’. Any criminal prosecution has to be based on evidence and not hearsay or narratives. Dr Razak Baginda has not been charged in any court of law in France,” he said.

He said he welcomed the French inquiry as he has not committed any crime of corruption or breached any laws in the matter.

On Tuesday, AFP reported that Abdul Razak had been charged in Paris on July 18 over alleged kickbacks in the purchase of the submarines.