KUALA LUMPUR: There is strong willingness by Malaysian and French authorities to cooperate in the investigation into the controversial Scorpene submarine purchase, says French ambassador to Malaysia Frédéric Laplanche (pic).
Speaking on the issue which had become even more of a priority for Malaysians in the last two months following the general election, Laplanche said the cooperation had been smooth with both parties investigating the case.
“The cooperation between the judicial authorities in France and in Malaysia is very good.
“They have been in contact with the new Malaysian Attorney General on all issues related to past questions and I sense a strong willingness to cooperate on both sides.
“These issues are in good hands and they are being dealt with,” he said in an interview held in conjunction with the French national day on July 14.
He said he could not comment further on the matter as it came under the scope of the French judiciary, which is an entirely independent body in France.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu was reported as saying last month that the setting up of a task force would be discussed in the Cabinet to investigate alleged corruption in the purchase of two French submarines in 2002 when former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was the defence minister.
In 2002, Najib oversaw the purchase of two Scorpene-class submarines and one Agosta-class submarine from French naval dockyards unit DCN, worth nearly €1bil (RM4.7bil).
In May, soon after the new government was formed, Mohamad said he would need to get a full picture of the Malaysian Armed Forces before even looking into the details of the issues and scandals, including the purchase of the submarines. — Bernama
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