Malaysia’s No. 2 leader accused a well-known blogger Wednesday of inventing “fabrication and total garbage” by claiming that the politician’s wife had a role in the gruesome slaying of a Mongolian woman.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak has come under intense public scrutiny after Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin signed a sworn statement claiming he has information linking Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, to the 2006 killing of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old freelance interpreter.
Najib denounced the claim as “lies, fabrication and total garbage,” and accused Raja Petra of making a “desperate and pathetic attempt to discredit and taint my political image.”
Raja Petra has authored articles in recent months also linking Najib to Shaariibuu’s death. Najib and Rosmah have both previously denied any hand in Shaariibuu’s killing.
Raja Petra was charged with sedition in May for one of those articles, but pleaded innocent. That trial is scheduled to start in October.
Najib’s comments came a day after Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi — who has identified Najib as his eventual successor — defended his deputy’s and his wife’s innocence and warned of legal action against Raja Petra.
Najib said he welcomed police investigations into Raja Petra’s claim, adding that his wife had already given a statement to the police. He did not elaborate.
Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, a close associate of Najib, is charged with abetting Shaariibuu’s slaying. Two policemen are accused of killing her and destroying her body with explosives in a jungle clearing outside Kuala Lumpur. They have been on trial since June 2007.
Abdul Razak has confessed in court to having an eight-month affair with Shaariibuu.
The prosecution contends Abdul Razak had her killed because she pestered him for money after he ended their affair. They say he used his connections to get the policemen to carry out the killing and to obtain the military-grade explosives that were used to destroy her body.