Media Statement – 29/11/2023
Investigate NOW Allegations of Existence of Person Who Ordered/Paid for Altantuya Shaariibuu’s Murder, and who paid for Sirul Azhar’s silence
Do not sweep under the carpet – Reveal The Truth Without Fear or Favour
MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) calls for prosecution and higher penalties for person/s that ordered or paid another to kill or murder. This is abuse of power and wealth.
Merely prosecuting actual murderers/killers or criminals is not enough noting that there may be occasions where the murder/crime was committed by person/s by reason of having to follow orders of another or being paid by another to commit specific crimes.
Until the abolition of the mandatory death penalty, the accused killer gains nothing by disclosing accomplices or information about people who ordered or paid for the killing, as it does not change the fact that they are still guilty of the crime of murder and would be sentenced to death.
Even the disclosure that they were ordered or paid by another will not reduce the sentence, as there is no possibility of this fact mitigating one’s sentence by reason of providing assistance to the authorities that will identify help identify or prosecute accomplices, including those that gave the order to kill or paid the accused to kill. The fact that they killed means they will be sentenced to death.
Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty – Expose of One Who Orders/Pays May Mitigate Sentence
However, today, after The Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023 came into force on 4/7/2023, Section 302 Penal Code which provides for the crime of murder now reads, ‘Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment for a term of not less than thirty years but not exceeding forty years and if not sentenced to death, shall also be punished with whipping of not less than twelve strokes.’ Now, that there is an alternative sentence other than death, hence the ability of the court to consider mitigation is restored.
The disclosure of the fact that one was paid by another to kill, or ordered by another to kill is still no guarantee that the court will still not impose the death penalty, given the fact that the accused did indeed kill.
Most lawyers will reasonably advise clients in criminal cases to remain silent, unless the evidence they give will exonerate them from the crime totally. Naturally, this would be the position taken at the court of first instance right until all the 2 appeals are exhausted. Even after that, silence could be secured by threats or even payments of monies.
Sirul Azhar’s ‘Expose’ Must Be Investigated
On 24/11/2023, Sirul Azhar Umar appeared in an Al Jazeera program, where he admitted to being involved in the kidnapping of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, but denied killing her. He said he was acting on orders. He also claimed that the evidence was planted against him.
‘…He also alleged that says he received RM1mil from unnamed sources for his silence on the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder during his detention in Australia. He said a prominent politically-linked lawyer and a top Cabinet leader were involved in the payment…’(Star, 24/11/2023)
On 24/11/2023, Lawyer Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican, now also a Malaysian Human Rights Commissioner and a recent UMNO-BN candidate in recent State elections, denied Sirul Azhar Umar's claims that he instructed the former police commando to make a video exonerating a top leader of any involvement in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. (Star, 24/11/2023).
We must recall also that Azilah, the other person convicted of Altantuya’s murder, also did previously release a damning Statutory Declaration (SD) from Kajang Prison implicating Najib. (Malay Mail, 17/12/2019)
Police Must Investigate – Not Simply Say ‘Unfounded’
Thus, MADPET finds it appalling that the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) regarded the statement by former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar in an interview with an international media regarding his conviction in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2009 as unfounded and could create more speculation. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain said Sirul Azhar had been given the opportunity to defend himself in line with Malaysian laws and constitution. “However, his (Sirul Azhar) claims were never submitted to any court that heard his case, from the High Court to the Federal Court. (25/11/2023, Malay Mail).
Sadly, this statement by the Inspector General of Police is wrong. It must be independently investigated, where the police must make a police report to commence investigation and only after that make any conclusion as to whether it is ‘unfounded’ or not.
MADPET believes that all these allegations must be now thoroughly investigated to determine also whether the two of Najib Razak's former bodyguards really ordered to kill or paid by another to kill, and if so, the said giver of orders or the one who paid for the killing must be investigated and prosecuted to ensure justice be done. Was there a ‘bribe’ for silence, or for the production of some ‘fake’ video?
Can the Police Still Independently Investigate? RCI?
Given the police’s recent response, it may be also be apt to consider setting up an independent Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate this matter. Alternatively, SUHAKAM (the National Human Rights Commission) or maybe even the EAIC ought to enquire into the matter to determine the truth once and for all.
We also recall that current Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim did tell The Australian newspaper the original trial and the judges' ruling was "compromised" and the reluctance of the judges to call relevant witnesses "made a mockery of the law". "The best way is to proffer a new charge and allow for a full hearing of the case," (New Straits Times, 17/5/2018). Hopefully, the fact that Anwar after GE15 needed the Barisan Nasional to form the unity government did not change his position on upholding the cause of justice without fear or favour.
Sirul Azhar Umar and chief inspector Azilah Hadri were both convicted by the High Court in Malaysia in 2009 for the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in October 2006. Altantuya was shot in the head in 2006 in a forest in Puncak Alam, Selangor. Her body was later blown up with explosives.
Their conviction in the High Court was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2013. Sirul left for Australia.
In 2015, the Federal Court upheld the High Court’s conviction, and reinstated the death penalty on both men.
The Australian government, who has a policy against deporting anyone to a country where they would face the death penalty, refused to send Sirul back to Malaysia.
Sirul was later apprehended by Australian Immigration in January 2015. Recently, Sirul Azhar was released after spending nine years in immigration custody since 2015. This followed an Australian High Court decision on 8/11/2023, that released about 92 detainees including Sirul Azhar, after deciding that non-citizen detainees who cannot be deported cannot be held indefinitely by immigration authorities, and were allowed to stay in Australia under specific conditions.
MADPET calls for an independent reinvestigation of the Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder in light of the recent revelations by Sirul Azhar with the object of determining the truth, including as to whether there were other accomplices possibly person/s who ordered the killing or paid another to kill;
MADPET also calls for an investigation into the alleged payment for silence;
MADPET also calls for comprehensive investigation of all murders, to determine whether there were others liable other than the one who committed the crime, as justice will not be served if some escape justice simply because the police elected to end investigations once the perpetrator committed the crime;
MADPET also calls for higher penalties to be imposed on persons that ordered or paid another to commit crimes, for without such persons the crime would never have been committed. It is an abuse of power or wealth that must never be tolerated.
For and on behalf of MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)
see the VDO below:-
I was paid RM1mil to keep my mouth shut, says Sirul
By R. SEKARAN Nation
Friday, 24 Nov 2023 11:50 AM MYT
PETALING JAYA: Sirul Azhar Umar says he received RM1mil from unnamed sources for his silence on the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder during his detention in Australia.
He said a prominent politically-linked lawyer and a top Cabinet leader were involved in the payment.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera's 101 East programme aired on Friday (Nov 24) morning, the former policeman said he was made a scapegoat and pawn in a political game.
He further claimed he was not responsible for Altantuya's murder despite being convicted for the crime.
"For many years people in my country have been waiting to know who gave the order to kill Altantuya, but I cannot reveal that," he said.
He claimed, however, the order to kill Altantuya was made by a top politician.
"I feel in danger to return (to Malaysia) as I feel it's unsafe and want to build a life with my child here in Australia.
"I love Australia and urge the community here to give me a second chance and accept us," he added.
Sirul also named a well-connected person over links to Altantuya.
He also apologised to Altantuya's family and asked for their forgiveness.
Altantuya was abducted and murdered in Shah Alam in October 2006, and her remains blown up with military-grade explosives.
Sirul and Azilah Hadri, two of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's bodyguards, were convicted of the murder in 2009.
The Court of Appeal overturned the conviction in 2013 and ordered their release.
During the prosecution's appeal, Sirul fled to Australia. The Federal Court upheld the conviction and reinstated the death penalty.
Former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who was charged together with Sirul and Azilah, was freed on Oct 31, 2008, after the court found no concrete evidence against him.
Sirul was arrested and detained by Australian immigration authorities in January 2015 but was not deported owing to the country's policy of not deporting people facing the death penalty.
On Nov 8, the Australian High Court ruled that indefinite immigration detention was unlawful, although the government could impose appropriate visa conditions to protect the local community.
On Dec 16 last year, High Court Judge Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera (now Court of Appeal judge) allowed the suit by Altantuya's family and ordered former policemen Azilah, Sirul, Abdul Razak, and the Malaysian government to jointly pay RM5mil in general, aggravated and exemplary damages to the family. - Star, 24/11/2023
No truth to Sirul's claims, says lawyer
Friday, 24 Nov 2023
PETALING JAYA: Lawyer Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican has denied Sirul Azhar Umar's claims that he instructed the former police commando to make a video exonerating a top leader of any involvement in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Sirul had claimed that his lawyer ordered him to make the video in 2016, where he said former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had no links to the Mongolian model.
"It is too early to take any action as the allegations were made and circulated in Australia. All I can say for now is that there is absolutely no truth to those allegations," Hasnal told The Star on Friday (Nov 24).
Hasnal, who was Sirul's lawyer, said he had seen parts of the interview.
He also denied Sirul was offered RM1mil to make the video.
In 2016, Sirul took an oath that Najib was in "no way involved" in the murder of Altantuya in 2006.
In 2015, the Federal Court sentenced Sirul and Special Action Unit personnel Azilah Hadri to death for murder. - Star, 24/11/2023
There’s absolutely no truth in Sirul’s claim, says his ex-lawyer
Hasnal Rezua Merican denies paying Sirul Azhar Umar RM1 million to exonerate Najib Razak of links to the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.
PETALING JAYA: A lawyer has denied all claims made by his former client Sirul Azhar Umar in Australia in an interview with an international TV network.
Hasnal Rezua Merican said this included an allegation that he had paid Sirul RM1 million.
“There is absolutely no truth to all the allegations he has made. I visited Sirul six to seven times during his incarceration in Australia as his lawyer. I can’t recall but the last time I met him may have been in 2017 or 2018.
“It is too early to take any step as the allegations were made and circulated in Australia,” Hasnal told FMT in a WhatsApp message.
Earlier this morning, Aljazeera English’s 101 East programme aired an exclusive interview with Sirul in Canberra, Australia, which was his first since his release two weeks ago.
Former policeman Sirul, who is facing the death sentence in Malaysia for the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, claimed that he was a scapegoat in the incident and was paid a large sum of money by Hasnul to exonerate former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak from any link to the brutal murder in 2006.
“(It was) big money in Malaysian ringgit. Around a million ringgit. Yes, I received it,” he said when asked about the sum offered to him.
In addition, Sirul said he did not have to pay for any legal fees in Malaysia as it was “taken care of” but did not give details.
When pressured to divulge the source of the money, he said he did not know.
Sirul also said his superior Azilah Hadri told him that the move to arrest Altantuya was a special operation.
“I joined the police (when I was) 19 years old. It taught me tough discipline, about obeying superiors, which means (saying) yes sir, yes sir, and never say no,” he said in the episode.
He said Malaysians had been asking who gave the order to kill Altantuya but he was not able to tell until now.
When pressed on what exactly Azilah told him, he said his superior told him that a girl was disturbing Razak Baginda, a political analyst.
“I didn’t murder (Altantuya). But I was involved. I took her from Razak’s house alive. And then I handed her over to Azilah and did nothing after that,” he said, adding that he was just a sergeant then and had a chief inspector (Azilah) above him.
Australia would not deport Sirul to Malaysia as the country’s laws do not allow all those facing the death sentence to be repatriated to their countries of origin.
Altantuya was shot in the head in 2006 in a forest in Puncak Alam, Selangor. Her body was later blown up with explosives.
Sirul and Azilah were convicted in 2009 by the High Court of killing Altantuya, who was described as an interpreter. Azilah is currently on death row at Kajang prison.
They succeeded in overturning their conviction at the Court of Appeal in 2013, but the Federal Court in 2015 restored their conviction and sentenced them to death.
Sirul fled to Australia before the final verdict.
He had been held at the detention centre since 2015 after
being detained by Australian police. His first application for political
asylum in Australia was rejected in 2019. - FMT, 24/11/2023
Altantuya case: Sirul should face new trial, says Anwar
SYDNEY: A man who fled Malaysia after being sentenced to hang for the killing of a Mongolian model, in a scandal linked to his country's ousted government, should face a new trial, political leader Anwar Ibrahim reportedly said Thursday.
Former Malaysian police officer Sirul Azhar Umar, who is now in Australian custody, has claimed he was ordered by "important people" to murder Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.
Altantuya was the lover of Abdul Razak Baginda – a former close associate of now deposed Malaysian premier Najib Razak – who was accused of arranging kickbacks for the purchase of French submarines in 2002.
Opponents of Najib's government have long alleged that Sirul and accomplice Azilah Hadri, members of an elite unit that guards top Malaysian ministers, were scapegoats in the killing to hide the involvement of their masters at the highest levels of government.
Sirul has previously threatened to reveal who gave the order.
Reformist politician Anwar, who was released from prison Wednesday after his sodomy conviction was quashed by the king following Najib being toppled, suggested Sirul should be brought back to Malaysia for a fresh trial.
He told The Australian newspaper the original trial and the judges' ruling was "compromised" and the reluctance of the judges to call relevant witnesses "made a mockery of the law".
"The best way is to proffer a new charge and allow for a full hearing of the case," he said.
Anwar is the presumptive successor to new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad following a stunning election upset last week, with his one-time nemesis turned ally vowing to step down in a year or two to make way for him.
Sirul was reportedly detained in Australia in 2015 and has been held in custody since, although Canberra has never officially confirmed this.
A report in the Guardian last week said his bid for a protection visa would be heard within months. Authorities refused to confirm this to AFP or comment on other details of the case.
According to the newspaper, Canberra has allowed Malaysian officials and their middlemen to meet with him regularly, including one from Najib's United Malays National Organisation party's youth wing a fortnight ago.
It cited a source as saying the Malaysian visitor delivered a message to his countryman: "Don't say anything".
The scandal is one of Malaysia's most sensitive topics, with suspicions swirling for years that Altantuya was murdered to keep her quiet about shenanigans in the submarine deal.
Najib has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing over the deal amid allegations that French submarine maker DCNS paid "commissions" of more than 114 million euros (US$142 million) for two Scorpene submarines, which Malaysian critics allege were kickbacks.
Altantuya, 28, was shot dead and her body blown up with military-grade plastic explosives outside Kuala Lumpur.
Sirul and Azilah were convicted in 2009 and sentenced to hang. They were later released when an appeals court overturned the conviction in 2013 after raising questions about how their trial was conducted.
But Malaysia's highest court upheld their death sentences in 2015. Sirul fled the country ahead of that ruling. - NST, 17/5/2018
Azilah's murder claim a bid to escape gallows?
KUALA LUMPUR: Is the latest “explosive” revelation on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s involvement in Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder the last ditch, desperate attempt by a murderer to escape the hangman’s noose?
The evidence leading to the conviction and death sentence of the accused, former chief inspector Azilah Hadri and former corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, has all been revealed and the trial went through all stages right up to the Federal Court.
Azilah, who was a member of the police’s elite Special Actions Unit (UTK), is asking the Federal Court to review its decision to convict him and Sirul.
The case management of the application has been fixed for today.
Sirul has since fled to Australia while Azilah is languishing in the Kajang prison, waiting to be executed.
Another co-accused, Najib’s associate, Abdul Razak Baginda — was originally convicted but later acquitted and is now a free man.
Azilah and Sirul, who were with UTK, were assigned to Najib’s security detail at that time.
The case captivated the world’s attention then and is still talked about 13 years on.
This is because despite the conclusion of the trial, the motive of the murder has remained a point of contention.
During the course of the trial, the late Karpal Singh, who was holding a watching brief for the victim’s family, had filed a notice of motion to call several witnesses.
One of them included Najib, who Karpal wanted to be called to testify in the trial.
Najib’s testimony, he argued, could introduce fresh evidence to the case.
However, the petition notice was rejected by the High Court after the judge ruled that “only the parties involved, namely the prosecution and the defence” had a right to submit the petition.
Another interesting point during the trial was when Sirul, on Feb 3, 2009, pleaded with the court not to pass the death sentence on him.
He claimed that he was like “a black sheep that has to be sacrificed” to protect unnamed people who had never been brought to court or faced questioning.
“I have no reason to cause hurt, what more to take the life of the victim in such a cruel manner.
“I appeal to the court, which has the power to determine if I live or die, not to sentence me so as to fulfil others’ plans for me,” he was quoted as saying.
On April 9, 2009, High Court judge Zaki Yasin ruled that Sirul’s and Azilah’s statements were “unbelievable” as both of the accused only blamed each other.
Both policemen were sentenced to death for the murder of Altantuya at the end of the 159-day trial.
Zaki said both of them failed to raise any reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case.
It was reported that Sirul and Azilah showed no emotion when they heard that they would be hanged.
They were, however, acquitted on Aug 23, 2013 by the Court of Appeal.
Several reasons were given for the acquittal, such as the failure of the prosecution to provide a strong motive for the two men to murder the victim and the prosecution’s failure to call for the cross-examination of Najib’s aide, Musa Safri, and the Pekan member of parliament himself.
The prosecution later appealed the decision and the Federal Court overturned the acquittal of both individuals on Jan 13, 2015.
Both were found guilty of murder and again sentenced to death.
However, Sirul did not show up during the appeal hearing and it was later discovered that he had fled to Australia.
The government had since made an extradition request to get him back, but this has been refused by Australia due to its policy of not extraditing individuals to countries which have the death penalty.
Sirul is now detained by Australian Immigration authorities in Brisbane, Queensland.
Altantuya’s father, Dr Shaariibuu Setev, refused to let go of the case and said there was more to his daughter’s murder than what had been revealed during the trial.
He said the motive of the murder needed to be investigated and the person who ordered the killing must be brought to justice. - NST, 17/12/2019
Sirul Azhar released from Australian immigration detention centre
KUALA LUMPUR: Former police officer Sirul Azhar Umar, convicted of the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006, has been released from the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney, Australia, yesterday.
According to Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald, Sirul Azhar was released after spending nine years in immigration custody since 2015.
His release follows the country's High Court decision on Nov 8, stating that non-citizen detainees who cannot be deported cannot be held indefinitely by immigration authorities.
Following this decision, 92 individuals, mostly refugees, including others convicted of violent crimes, were released and allowed to stay in Australia under specific conditions.
As reported by the media outlet, the news of Sirul Azhar's release was confirmed by his son, Shukri Azam, currently residing in Australia.
"He is now with me, and I am handling all matters on his behalf," he said, quoting The Sydney Morning Herald's report.
On May 3, BH reported that Shukri Azam appealed to the Australian government to reconsider their political asylum request after the initial application was rejected in 2019.
Shukri Azam, 23, stated that he and his father have no plans to return to Malaysia, even though the mandatory death penalty for serious crimes, including murder, has been abolished.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Shukri Azam, who was six years old when Altantuya was killed, claimed he feared for his father's life if they were to return to Malaysia.
Shukri Azam was reportedly raised by adoptive parents in Australia after being separated from his mother and has been residing in Australia for nearly ten years.
Altantuya was allegedly involved in a sex scandal with former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, a close associate of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was the Deputy Prime Minister at that time.
The Mongolian national, reported to have played a role as a translator in the submarine sales negotiation process between a French arms supplier, DNS, and the Malaysian government, was murdered by two of Najib's personal bodyguards on October 18, 2006.
Following the incident, two members of the Special Action Unit (UTK), Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar and Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, were arrested before being charged in the Shah Alam Court for Altantuya's murder in November 2006.
On April 9, 2009, the court sentenced Sirul Azhar and Azilah to death for the murder of Altantuya. However, both filed appeals against their sentences.
In Feb 2012, their appeal hearings took place over three days, and finally, on Aug 23, 2013, the Court of Appeal ordered the release of Azilah and Sirul Azhar.
However, the prosecution filed an appeal against this decision in the Federal Court, and the appeal hearing took place on June 23, 2014.
A five-judge panel of the Federal Court unanimously upheld the death sentences for Azilah and Sirul Azhar after allowing the prosecution's appeal on Jan 13, 2015.
Sirul Azhar left Malaysia while the case was still under appeal and did not return when the Federal Court pronounced the sentence.
He was subsequently detained by Australian authorities, consistent with the country's policy of not repatriating individuals facing the death penalty in their home country. - NST, 12/11/2023
Sirul’s claims unfounded and can create speculation, says IGP
Sunday, 26 Nov 2023
KUALA LUMPUR: The police say the interview given by its former commando Sirul Azhar Umar to an international media on his conviction in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2009 was unfounded and could create more speculation.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain (pic) said Sirul Azhar had been allowed to defend himself per Malaysian laws and constitution.
“However, his (Sirul Azhar) claims were never submitted to any court that heard his case, from the High Court to the Federal Court.
“If he is convinced and feels the need for justice, that there is new evidence, Sirul Azhar or through his lawyer, can make a police report for the authorities to take the necessary action,” he told Bernama.
Razarudin was commenting on Sirul Azhar’s interview broadcast on television recently.
According to Razarudin, Sirul Azhar has not, until now, made any application to review the death sentence imposed on him in line with the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023 (Act 847) which gives 90 days from Sept 12 this year for a death penalty offender to apply.
Razarudin said although Malaysia has an extradition agreement with Australia, he cannot be extradited to Malaysia because of the death sentence imposed on him.
“Australia does not recognise the death penalty and also does not impose the death penalty on criminal offenders in the country.”
Razarudi said one of the conditions for an extradition agreement to be implemented is that the offence must have dual criminality.
He said Malaysia has Mutual Legal Assistance with many countries, including Australia, through the Mutual Assistance In Criminal Matters Act (MACMA 2002).
He said the principle of dual criminality also applies to this act. “This means that an offence must be a criminal offence for both countries and also carries the same punishment.”
“The latest legal development in
Malaysia only involved abolishing the mandatory death penalty. This
means that the death penalty still exists in Malaysia, only that it is
no longer mandatory and at the discretion of the court,” he said. - Star, 26/11/2023
Though Sirul chose not to divulge the alleged mastermind of the Mongolian woman’s murder, he, nonetheless, dropped a devastating bombshell by revealing to Al-Jazeera that there are still ongoing efforts to influence him in order to protect Najib.
Sirul (above) also alleged that his then-superior Azilah Hadri had told him that they were carrying out a “special operation” for Najib.
As expected, such a damning revelation by Sirul has solicited a slew of reactions.
Najib's counsel, Shafee & Co promptly reacted by issuing a statement that their client - Najib - has been conclusively exonerated of any involvement in Altantuya's case.
The lawyer also claimed that such an exoneration has been affirmed by relevant authorities, including investigations restarted post-GE14 (2018) and a reaffirmation by the High Court, Court of Appeal, and ultimately by way of a substantive appeal in the Federal Court.
Let me add additional information. In December 2019, Najib also took an oath at a mosque on Friday denying allegations he ordered the 2006 murder of a Mongolian model.
Apparently, the oath-taking ceremony is one of the popular methods in local politics for politicians to seek to clear their names.
We have no idea of Najib’s alleged involvement in such a gruesome murder, thus we are not keen to speculate.
What we know is that Altantuya was in a romantic relationship with Abdul Razak Baginda, a politically connected defence analyst and an adviser to Najib when he was a defence minister.
Further, it has been public knowledge that in 2002, Razak brokered a US$1.1 billion (RM3 billion) deal for the Defence Ministry to buy two French Scorpene-class submarines and Altantuya allegedly demanded US$500,000 to stay quiet about the alleged corruption in the deal, thus fuelling speculation that this is why she was grotesquely "exterminated".
To be fair to Sirul, apparently, he was not alone in implicating Najib in Altantuya's murder.
The media also reported that on Dec 16, 2018, in his bid for a retrial, Azilah categorically affirmed a statutory declaration (SD) that explicitly implicated Najib in such a heinous crime.
It is not clear why Najib has not instructed his lawyer to file a libel suit against either Azilah for such a damning confession in the SD or Sirul for his latest revelation on Al-Jazeera, assuming such information is proven to be defamatory.
I guess Najib must be extremely concerned about salvaging and honouring his integrity and credibility. Be that as it may, if Najib is serious about protecting his name, suing Azilah and Sirul may be one of the best routes in accomplishing that.
The police also reacted to Sirul's latest closure. It regarded the statement by Sirul - a former commando - in the interview on his conviction in the murder of Altantuya, as unfounded and could create more speculation.
Perhaps the police and Najib's lawyer are right. Sirul was already found guilty by our judicial system. Hence, his purported exoneration via media is not legally proper.
But, is Sirul alone resorting to such a tactic?
When Sirul admitted to taking money for his silence, it would be logical for this convicted murderer not to raise much "new information" during his previous trial.
After all, he is fully aware of what happened to Altantuya when she refused to be silenced.
MOHAMED HANIPA MAIDIN is a former MP and former law minister. He was also a practising lawyer for almost 25 years.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini. - Malaysiakini, 28/11/2023