Government’s Attempt to Remove RM100M Suit by Altantuya’s Family

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The father of the murdered model wants the court to hold a trial to determine the liability of the four defendants, as evidence will then be tendered for the court to decide. 

Putrajaya has applied to strike out a decade-old RM100 million lawsuit filed by family members of Altantuya Shaariibuu for her murder by two policemen.

According to FMT news portal, the family’s lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said the government had filed the application in March.

The suit names the Malaysian government as the fourth defendant.

The government in its affidavit said the plaintiffs had failed to plead that it was vicariously liable for the action of the policemen Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri.

“Altantuya’s father, (Shaariibuu Setev) filed an affidavit in reply to oppose the application last week,” Ramkarpal said

Shaariibuu said the claim, which was first filed on Jun 6, 2007, was with basis and had merit.

“Apart from a cause of action in tort, the claim also comprises of a dependency claim and a claim for damages by all the defendants,” he said in the affidavit sighted by FMT.

He said the application to strike out was scandalous, frivolous and vexatious.

Shaariibuu said the Malaysian government was also liable as it was the employer of the policemen.

He said liability of the defendants could only be determined after a full trial where evidence would be tendered.

Ramkarpal said the government would reply to Shaariibuu’s affidavit and both parties would then proceed to file written submissions.

“The High Court judge (Ahmad Nasfy Yasin) is expected to deliver his ruling on July 26,” he said.

Shaariibuu, his wife Altantsetseg Sanjaa, and two grandchildren are suing political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, the convicted killers Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri, and the Malaysian government.

The family of the Mongolian translator and model had alleged conspiracy in her murder.

The hearing of the suit was postponed pending the disposal of the murder case at the High Court. Subsequently, there were appeals at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court.

Sirul and Azilah were convicted by the High Court in 2009 of killing Altantuya.

They succeeded in overturning their conviction at the Court of Appeal in 2013 but the Federal Court in early 2015 restored their conviction and sentenced both men to death.

Sirul did not appear for the final decision and it was later revealed he had left Malaysia.

The Federal Court later issued a warrant of arrest for him.

Altantuya’s lover, Abdul Razak Baginda, who was charged with abetment in the murder, was acquitted.

AFP

The court ruled the charge against him was not proven and the government did not appeal, a move that drew harsh public criticism.

Ramkarpal revealed that Sirul, who is held at an Australian detention centre, and Azilah, who is on death row in Kajang prison, were not challenging the suit.

“Both their lawyers have discharged themselves in this civil claim while Razak has engaged a counsel to contest the suit,” he said.