After 12 years, the sensational case reopens with the focus on going after the person who ordered the killing.
- Failure to call key witness, an ex-Najib aide, to testify raises suspicions of a cover-up
- Father wants to know how the killers obtained the explosives to blow up his daughter’s body
- Question of why the prosecution did not appeal the acquittal of Razak Baginda for abetting the murder
- Lawyer Ramkarpal’s opinion is the police already know the identity of the person who ordered the murder
- Not necessary to extradite Sirul to establish motive for Altantuya’s murder
The Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case should be reopened, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In a meeting with the victim’s father Dr Setev Shaariibuu and family lawyer Ramkarpal Singh, Dr Mahathir agreed that the 12-year-old case should be looked into again.
“He (Dr Mahathir) agreed that it is a case that warrants further investigation,” said Ramkarpal.
“The prime minister, however, is also adamant that the process must follow the rule of law.
“We also agree with him and have started the due process, which began with meeting the Attorney-General yesterday (June 19). We are confident that the rule of law will take its course.
“It was a very satisfactory meeting. The Prime Minister also spoke in detail with Dr Shaariibuu,” Ramkarpal told reporters outside the Prime Minister’s office here after the 30-minute meeting.
He explained that the main goal of reopening investigations was to establish who actually gave the order to murder Altantuya, saying that person could be charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.
“Of course, if there is evidence that somebody ordered the killing, then that person is equally, if not, more culpable than the one that actually carried out the order.
“We want to find out who ordered it, that is the person with the most responsibility, that person must be brought to justice, whoever it is,” he said.
Setev said he was satisfied with the meeting with Mahathir. “The PM and I had a face-to-face meeting as fathers. The law should serve the citizens. The most precious thing is human life,” he said.
Also present were a Mongolian translator and a representative from the Mongolian consulate.
He also said Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga had spoken to him over the phone to thank Dr Mahathir.
After Pakatan Harapan won its historic victory in GE14 and took over Putrajaya, Khaltmaagiin had also written to Dr Mahathir.
“As the President of Mongolia, I pay special attention to the grave crime committed in Malaysia on Oct 18, 2006 – the murder of Ms Shariibuu Altantuya, a Mongolian national and a mother of two children,” Khaltmaagiin said in his letter.
He urged the then newly sworn-in premier to help bring justice to Altantuya’s family “to invigorate the atmosphere in the bilateral relations between our two countries”.
Before the meeting with Mahathir, Setev had lodged a report on the case at Dang Wangi police station urging the police to reopen the case and question Deputy Supt Musa Safri whom he named as a key witness.
Ramkarpal said the police should have called Musa, a former aide-de-camp (ADC) of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as a witness during the Altantuya murder trial.
“Musa was a key witness and this should have been considered during the trial. Why was he not called? It was related to the important matter of the motive (for the killing).
“It was rather strange. It does not mean that the matter has ended,” he said.
Musa was the superior officer to ex-police commandos Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar, both of whom were convicted for Altantuya’s murder.
Musa is said to have told Azilah and Sirul to meet with Najib’s associate Abdul Razak Baginda after the latter requested police aid after facing harassment from his jilted lover Altantuya.
He was never called to testify, and the Federal Court ruled in 2015 that his testimony was inconsequential to the case.
“I believe if not for Musa, Azilah and Sirul would not have come to Razak’s house that day (Oct 19, 2016) and taken my daughter away and she would very likely still be alive today,” Setev said in the police report.
He said Musa is thus a crucial witness into discovering who ordered the murder of Altantuya, as neither Azilah nor Sirul knew her prior to the killing.
“There must have been other parties who instructed Azilah and Sirul to murder my daughter in which case, I believe those other parties must also be guilty of her murder.
“Furthermore, the failure of the prosecution to lead evidence on the motive of my daughter’s murder by calling Musa raises suspicions of whether there was a cover-up in this case, which I urge the police to investigate further,” Setev added.
Azilah had told the courts that beyond setting up the meeting with Razak, Musa had no further involvement in the case.
Meanwhile, besides naming Musa, Setev also urged police to look into how Azilah and Sirul had obtained explosives to blow up Altantuya’s body, and whether those who supplied the explosives were involved in the murder.
He also questioned why the prosecution did not appeal the acquittal of Razak for abetting the murder.
Yesterday, Setev had said he wanted to know who ordered the murder of his daughter 12 years ago.
Ramkarpal said he hoped investigations would be done and completed within three to six months while staying reserved when pressed on who could have given the orders to murder Altantuya.
“I always said that my opinion is the police already know the identity of the person who ordered the murder. It’s too obvious, it is too important, and cannot be left out from the previous investigations.
“I do not know if it is one person, more than one person, we do not know that, but we hope the police will investigate the matter further,” he said.
Yesterday, Setev met with Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, with the meeting described as “fruitful” by Ramkarpal.
The lawyer said he was pleasantly surprised to discover that Thomas was both familiar with the case and up to date with developments despite the murder taking place 12 years ago.
The A-G also indicated that the new investigation will not be delayed, he added.
Ramkarpal also said it was not necessary to extradite Sirul Azhar Umar, one of two police commandos convicted of Altantuya’s murder, in order to establish the motive for her murder.
This is Setev’s fourth visit to Malaysia to demand justice for his daughter.
June 8, Australia to Extradite Sirul
June 1, Australia Urged to Deport Sirul
May 23, Police May Reopen Altantuya Case