The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) refers to the indictment of Abdul Razak Baginda by a French court on 18 July 2017 in connection with the Scorpene corruption scandal and calls on the new Pakatan Harapan government to lift the ban prohibiting William Bourdon from entering Malaysia.
In July 2011, William Bourdon was arbitrarily deported from Malaysia by the Barisan Nasional government for giving a briefing on the development of the case in the French court at a fundraising event.
William Bourdon is a prominent French lawyer who is in charge of the Scorpene case in the French court. He and his team of lawyers specialise in human rights and corporate social responsibility and have been providing pro bono legal advice and services in relation to the case.
It is noteworthy that the case is still ongoing in the French Court, and it is only a matter of time that the proceedings are moved to a higher court, where those involved will be prosecuted.
Given the strong commitment made by the Pakatan Harapan government to stamp out corruption, we urge that the ban placed on William Bourdon be immediately lifted.
This move would enable him to enter Malaysia and advise the government on the latest development in the case, the next course of action, and steps to be taken to ensure that the case proceeds without a hitch in the French court.
The lifting of the ban would enable Malaysians to get the full picture of the Scorpene corruption scandal. This is key to unveiling the whole truth behind the corruption scandal which would facilitate the quest to bring those responsible to account.
Cynthia Gabriel is executive director and Fadiah Nadwa Fikri is a legal research officer of C4.
Note: The Scorpene corruption scandal centres on the payment of €114 million (RM570m) in commissions and kickbacks made by Thales and DCNS to Malaysian officials through a company called Perimekar Sdn Bhd (Perimekar) – a company controlled by Abdul Razak Baginda. Five individuals including Abdul Razak Baginda have been indicted by the French Court for their involvement in the Scorpene corruption scandal.