Bukit Aman will discuss with the Attorney General the possibility of extraditing former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar, says Tan Sri Razarudin Husain.
The Inspector-General of Police confirmed that Sirul was released from the Villawood Immigration detention centre in Sydney, Australia.
“We will discuss the matter with the relevant parties because he has already been sentenced.
Present location: Sirul is currently staying with his son in Australia.
“The request for repatriation needs to be addressed by the Attorney General’s office as this involves the governments of Malaysia and Australia,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
Razarudin said there were no restrictions on the police meeting Sirul after his release in Australia.
“We have officers there who can meet him because he is already freed,” he said.
Former police officer Azilah Hadri, who was also sentenced to death for the murder, is currently on death row in Kajang Prison.
News of Sirul’s release has brought about international attention, with his name in headlines worldwide.
The British newspaper The Daily Telegraph published the news with “Malaysian assassin set free after High Court visa ruling” as its headline.
The Guardian dubbed Sirul a “Malaysian Hitman” in its report on the release.
Malaysian International Humanitarian Organisation secretary-general Datuk Hishamuddin Hashim said any extradition requests by the government would be pointless.
“Right now, if you ask Australia to extradite him, it is pointless because their policy is not to extradite anyone who is on death row.
“The original death sentence must somehow be reduced, perhaps to life imprisonment, then the government can request his extradition,” he said.
Recently, Malaysia abolished the mandatory death sentence for 12 offences, including murder and treason.
It also gives judges the discretion to opt for life imprisonment.
Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network executive coordinator Dobby Chew said there is undoubtedly a need for Sirul to be repatriated to Malaysia.
“He needs to face justice for his actions in Malaysia.
“The nature of his offence and the individuals associated add another layer of urgency and importance, as the truth behind his actions isn’t just a matter of public interest but has a significant impact on the victim’s family.
“Nothing is stopping Malaysia, specifically the Attorney General, from negotiating his repatriation to face justice for his actions without the death penalty being on the table,” he said.
Chew added that Sirul’s case illustrates how Malaysia loses out by insisting on the death penalty.
“We lose out on opportunities for cooperation with countries like Australia and most of Europe,” he added.
Sirul has been forced to remain in the detention centre since 2015 after his claim for asylum in Australia was rejected.
On Nov 8, the Australian High Court ruled that it was illegal to indefinitely detain non-citizens who could not be deported.
This led to the release of relevant detainees with temporary visas issued.
Sirul’s release was confirmed by his lawyer, William Levingston, to the British daily The Guardian.
Levingston said his client faces death by hanging in Malaysia for a murder conviction, and until the death penalty is abolished by the Malaysian government, the Australian government would not be able to deport Sirul due to non-refoulement obligations.
In a previous interview with The Guardian Australia, Sirul claimed that he was ordered to carry out the killing but did not disclose who gave the instructions.
He added that he only participated in the abduction of Altantuya but not the murder.
In 2009, Sirul and Azilah Hadri were convicted of murdering Altantuya and sentenced to death.
The Court of Appeal overturned their sentences in 2013, but upon the prosecution’s appeal, the sentences were upheld by the Federal Court.
Altantuya, 28, is believed to have been shot dead before her body was blown to bits with explosives at a secondary forest near the Subang Dam in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam, in 2006.