Amid calls to reopen the Altantuya case, Sirul has asked for a full pardon to come back from Australia to spill the beans but a lawyer has suggested a way to get Aussie authorities to deport the convicted killer of Altantuya.
Time for answers to:
- Why Najib’s confidant Abdul Razak Baginda was acquitted without his defence being called to abetting Sirul and Azilah, and the government did not appeal his acquittal
- Why a key witness – a Najib aide – was never called
- The motive for the murder
- Most importantly, who ordered the hit on Altantuya
A DAP leader has urged authorities to reject a reported offer by convicted killer Sirul Azhar Umar to come clean with details of the grisly murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu more than a decade ago, saying his request for a pardon is an insult to her memory.
Instead, Ramkarpal Singh said the court should commute his death sentence to life imprisonment so that authorities in Australia have no reason not to deport him upon a request for extradition.
“There is absolutely no hint of remorse from Sirul in his said interview particularly when the murder was committed in such a heinous manner,” said Ramkarpal Singh, referring to an interview published by news portal Malaysiakini.
In court testimonies, it was claimed that Altantuya was killed in a forest in Subang in 2006 before her body was blown up with explosives.
Sirul, a former police officer, is currently in Australia after he fled Malaysia to escape a death sentence.
He is being held at an immigration detention centre, hoping to get asylum.
He and former colleague Azilah Hadri were found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder.
Ramkarpal said the only reason Australia would not extradite Sirul was that he would be on death row here.
“If the said death penalty is commuted to life imprisonment, the Australian government will most certainly deport him to Malaysia to serve his sentence here,” he said.
“Once he is back on home soil, he will be compelled to cooperate in the said investigations or RCI and if necessary, appear as a witness against those who ordered Altantuya’s murder.”
Ramkarpal added that it was unlikely that Sirul had any personal knowledge of what transpired on the night of the murder or who ordered it, saying it was clear from the trial evidence that Azilah had played a bigger role.
“Furthermore, the possibility that one DSP Musa Safri may have knowledge of what happened cannot be excluded as he was mentioned throughout the trial but was curiously not called by the prosecution,” Ramkarpal said.
Meanwhile, former police Special Action Force officer Azilah, who is on death row for the murder of Altantuya, has been waiting for more than two years for a hearing on his plea for clemency.
His lawyer, Hazman Ahmad, told FMT: “We are still waiting for the Selangor Pardons Board to set the hearing date.”
The Sultan of Selangor chairs the pardons board and its members include the Attorney-General and menteri besar.
Azilah and ex-commando Sirul’s conviction and death sentence for the Altantuya murder was affirmed by the Federal Court in January 2015, nine years after she was killed in 2006 in a forest near Subang, Shah Alam, and her body blown up with explosives.
Sirul has been in the news since fleeing to Australia, where he has been held in an immigration detention centre. Yesterday, in a media interview, he said he was willing to return to Malaysia and reveal all that he knew, on condition that he was granted a full pardon.
Azilah’s application for a pardon was sent to the Selangor Pardons Board on Jan 16, 2016, and copies of the petition sent to the Attorney-General (AG) Mohamed Apandi Ali and Selangor Menteri Besar, Mohamed Azmin Ali.
A co-accused, former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, a confidant of then deputy prime minister Najib Razak, was acquitted in 2008 without his defence being called to the charge of abetting Azilah and Sirul.
The government did not appeal the acquittal.
Yesterday, Sirul questioned why there was no appeal, and why a key witness, a Najib aide, was never called.
Despite the conviction of the two former police commandos, the motive for the murder was never established. – FMT
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