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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 05:04 GMT 06:04 UK
Top Malaysian denies murder link
By Jonathan Kent
BBC News, Kuala Kumpur

Najib Razak (archive image)
This is the first time Mr Najib has commented on the killing
Malaysia's deputy prime minister has broken his silence over attempts to link him to a gruesome murder.

Najib Razak has denied having any connection with the killing, and says he never met the murdered woman, Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Mr Najib's key political advisor Abdul Razak Baginda is currently awaiting trial in connection with her killing.

Mr Najib's political opponents have made the murder an issue in a key by-election campaign.

The remains of the Mongolian model were found outside Kuala Lumpur in October.

She had been shot twice in the head and her remains blown up with plastic explosives.

According to the police she was kidnapped outside the home of Abdul Razak Baginda, a political analyst and a close associate of Mr Najib.

Until last week the deputy prime minister had ignored attempts to link him to the murder.

But when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim demanded he reveal what he knew about the killing, Mr Najib hit back saying he had nothing to do with the affair and had never met the woman.

He refused to rise to Mr Anwar's challenge to sue him over the allegations, saying he had no wish to embarrass his former colleague because he has a wife and children.

Mr Najib is perhaps the most whispered against politician in Malaysia - however he is also one of the most astute.

Analysts say it would have been extraordinary if he had allowed himself to become embroiled in such a gruesome affair.

Malaysians charged over murder
15 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Malaysia analyst held over murder
08 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Malaysia
18 Oct 06 |  Country profiles

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