Altantuya’s Killer Loses Asylum Appeal, But Deportation Likely Stalled

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Australia has rejected the asylum appeal of convicted Malaysian murderer Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted of murdering Mongolian Altantuya Sharibuu. 

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal had rejected Sirul’s appeal for asylum on the grounds that his crime was not a political one, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.

The rejection reportedly came after a lengthy court process where the tribunal found no suggestion that a “state-ordered assassination would amount to a political crime”.

“He wants to be released into the Australian society, released from detention, so that he could go into the Australian society and live, because he said that his crime was a political crime,” an associate of Sirul in the country was quoted saying in the report.

The ABC also stated that Australia is expected to delay his deportation until after Malaysia abolishes the death penalty.

The new Pakatan Harapan government is mulling abolishing the death penalty and will decide on tabling a motion to do so by the next Parliament sitting in March after consultation with relevant stakeholders.

In an interview with Malaysiakini in May, last year, Sirul had said that he was willing to tell all on Altantuya’s murder provided he be given a full pardon upon his return to Malaysia.