The lawyer who helped prepare statutory declarations (SDs) in two headline-grabbing cases involving late private investigator P Balasubramaniam and deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais says the former policeman who issued a sworn statement that Najib Razak ordered the death of Altantuya Shaariibuu would have known the risk he was taking.
Americk Sidhu said Azilah Hadri, who is on death row for the brutal murder 19 years ago, knew his credibility would be at stake if his allegations were false.
“Azilah opted to use the SD to lend credibility to what he has to say about the crime.
“He also knows very well that he will be under the threat of criminal prosecution if the SD is baseless and unjustified,” he told FMT.
Azilah, who was convicted of murdering Altantuya with his partner Sirul Azhar Umar, issued the SD as part of an application in the Federal Court last week for a review of his case.
He is seeking to have his conviction set aside and a fresh trial held.
In his SD, he said, among others, that Altantuya’s former lover Abdul Razak Baginda and senior police officer Musa Safri were aware of the “instructions” from Najib.
Razak was acquitted of Altantuya’s murder while Najib has strongly denied allegations of his involvement.
Americk, who prepared the first SD of P Balasubramaniam, better known as PI Bala, said Azilah had declared the contents of his declaration true under oath.
He added that an individual could be charged with various offences in relation to affirming a false SD under the Penal Code and Statutory Declaration Act.
Bala’s first SD was read during a news conference on July 3, 2008. In it, he said Najib was directly involved in the murder of Altantuya.
However, he issued a second SD the following day, retracting the first statement.
Americk also prepared an SD in 2015 for Charles Morais, who claimed that the murder of his brother Kevin was linked to a charge sheet he was preparing against “a high-ranking government official”.
Charles told a packed press conference at Americk’s office on Nov 25, 2015 that Kevin had confided in him while preparing the charge sheet in the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
Six men were charged with Kevin’s murder while pathologist Dr R Kunasegaran was charged with abetment. The trial is ongoing.
On both occasions, Americk said, he was harassed. But while the police recorded his statements on both SDs, neither statement was proven false, he added. – FMT