Former prime minister Najib Razak has applied to be an intervenor in an application for a retrial of the murder of Mongolian interpreter Altantuya Shaariibuu.
The review application was filed by former commando Azilah Hadri, whom the Federal Court has convicted of killing the woman, and who has now named Najib as the direct mastermind of her murder.
Azilah’s lawyer filed an application for a retrial, and another to overturn his conviction, at the Federal Court today.
Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said his client had a direct interest in the review application.
“You cannot make condemnations against anybody without that person be given the right to answer in court.
“He has totally denied everything that has been alleged. This allegation is raised for the first time after 10 years. This is an allegation made at the 11th hour when Azilah is expected to be executed.
“My client is being targeted in a way…so that he can be arrested and put into prison without bail,” Shafee told reporters outside court today.
Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Norinna Bahadun, who appeared with fellow DPP Tengku Suraya Tengku Ismail, said the deputy registrar had instructed all parties to file affidavits and replies in order to participate in the proceedings.
“We will also study the SD before briefing the attorney-general on the next course of action,” she said.
Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo said she had applied to hold a watching brief for Altantuya’s family.
“More importantly, the police should conduct an investigation as fresh evidence has emerged following the filing of the SD,” she said.
Shafee today described the statutory declaration’s (SD) contents as “unbelievable”.
“The death sentence has been handed down for several years now. I can’t blame him (Azilah). It’s a desperate application to save his life. But what I can blame him for is that he is implicating my client and one other person when there has not been a shred of evidence in the past 10 years.
“When I read some of these facts, I thought it was laughable, that my client, a former deputy prime minister and a former prime minister could tell Azilah, ‘Not only should you arrest this woman but kill her’…and my client apparently did this (makes slit the throat gesture). It is completely laughable. It is unbelievable, as unbelievable as claiming a cow jumping over the moon,” Shafee said.
The lawyer claimed that Najib’s other trials for corruption involving SRC International and 1Malaysia Development Bhd were not moving fast enough and that some people were eager to see Najib in jail.
“This is another attempt (to put Najib in jail). They are desperate to put my client in jail now that he is very popular,” Shafee said.
He also claimed that he was told that Azilah had met “a VVIP outside of the prison in February this year”.
However, Shafee is yet unable to confirm this and declined to reveal the identity of the VVIP or whether the person was a politician or affiliated to any party.
“Outside the prison, not in the prison. This when he is a death row prisoner. Which is totally a breach of protocol. But as I said, I cannot confirm that. I’m trying to confirm,” he added.
He further claimed that several people, including agents of the Malaysian government, had also gone to Australia to meet former UTK personnel Sirul Azhar Umar, under immigration detention there, to persuade him to come up with a statement against Najib.
“In terms of Sirul, I know some Malaysian agents, including an Australian reporter that had been engaged by some people, have been visiting Sirul, persuading him to come up with a statement, almost coordinated with Azilah’s.
“This has been going on this year. And I know that the last few times these people visited Azilah was in the last quarter of this year.
“This is a mala fide act to create a sensation around my client,” said Shafee.