Thu, Nov 09, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Malaysian analyst quizzed in death

AFP , KUALA LUMPUR

A top political analyst close to senior politicians was detained for five days as part of a police investigation into the abduction and murder of a French-trained Mongolian model, his lawyer said yesterday.

"I had a short interview with Abdul Razak Baginda this morning at the court and I am relieved to hear that he is in no way involved in the abduction or murder," Shafie Abdullah said. "He is being investigated for the abduction and murder. Abdul Razak is being detained for five days until Sunday."

"He pleads innocence," he said, adding Abdul was picked up by police on Tuesday.

Abdul Razak is the executive director of the Malaysian Strategic Research Center, a leading private think tank in Malaysia, and provides regular commentary on the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

Shafie said Abdul Razak knew the Mongolian women, identified as 28-year-old Altantuya Shaariibu. She was believed to have been murdered and her remains blown up with an explosive, Bernama news agency reported late on Monday.

Three members of the Malaysian police force who were arrested for alleged involvement in the murder were also brought to court yesterday, but no further details were available.

Bernama on Tuesday said an affair had resulted in the Mongolian model having a baby this year.

Shafie also said Abdul Razak knew one of the policemen detained in the investigation.

Malaysian police conducted a search and found skeletal remains of Altantuya, who was shot and her body blown to bits near Subang Lake dam, west of the capital Kuala Lumpur, the Star newspaper reported on Tuesday.

It said Altantuya came to Malaysia on Oct. 6 with her sister and cousin is search of financial help for her sick child from a "a political analyst" whom she said was her husband.

On Oct. 19 she had received a telephone call to meet him at his house, the Star said.

But when she reached the house, she was seized by several men, pushed into a car and driven away, the newspaper reported.

Her sister and her cousin, who last heard from Altantuuya on the night of Oct. 19, subsequently lodged a police report.

Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan vowed there would be no cover-up.

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