Malaysia has not sent in an application to extradite convicted murderer Sirul Azhar Umar to Australia which opposes the death penalty.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Australian government’s position on such cases takes into account whether or not the death penalty is applicable in the country seeking the extradition.
“He (Sirul) is being held in Immigration detention and there has been no application for extradition by the Malaysian government as confirmed by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir recently,” she said in reference to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Australia’s position, as a matter of principle, is that extradition cases take into account whether or not the death penalty would be applied in the applying country. But there is no application so this matter has not been tested.”
The Australian minister told reporters this after an official meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
On Monday, Dr Mahathir said he would ask about Australia’s position on Sirul, who has been in an immigration detention centre there for the past three years, when he meets Bishop.
Bishop said her government would like to explore Malaysia’s professed intention to consider abolishing the death penalty.
“This is a position Australia has held for some time; we oppose the death penalty at home and abroad. We advocate strongly for the abolishment of the death penalty,” she said.
Earlier, Dr Wan Azizah told the media the two governments are discussing the matter.
Sirul fled for Australia in 2015 just before the Federal Court reinstated his conviction for the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and the accompanying death sentence.
The death sentence is an obstacle to the extradition as Australian law prohibits the country from sending any person to a destination country where he may be put to death.
Sirul previously wrote a letter to Dr Mahathir, delivered via former Umno leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan who visited his detention centre in Sydney several months ago. – Malay Mail
Jun 8, Australia to Extradite Sirul