NEWS

AG: Najib never implicated in Altantuya case

Published
Modified 15 Sep 2015, 12:26 pm

Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali today said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was never implicated during the course of the trial over the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

He said the murder trial was comprehensive with all relevant witnesses being called to testify.

"Every piece of evidence and testimonies of witnesses were subjected subsequently to intense curial scrutiny by both the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

"At no time during this exhaustive legal process did the name of the prime minister come up in any culpable manner.

"The evidence led did not at all show that the prime minister played any role in the case," he said in a statement today.

His remarks came less than a week after Al Jazeera aired a documentary which revived alleged links between Najib ( photo ) and the brutal murder of the Mongolian woman in 2006.

Najib denied any link to the murder, claiming the documentary is part of an international conspiracy to topple him.

Mohamed Apandi said the only connection to Najib was also remote.

"The most remote connection was that Abdul Razak Abdullah, also known as Razak Baginda, sought the prime minister’s aide-de-camp, then DSP Musa Safri's assistance to get a police officer to help him over a personal matter.

"DSP Musa thereafter requested one of the accused persons, i.e. chief inspector Azilah Hadri to meet Razak Baginda.

"By his own testimony, chief inspector Azilah said DSP Musa played no other role nor gave any instructions on the matter," he said.

He added that Musa was also offered as a witness to the defence, but was never called to testify.

The Federal Court in its decision in January ruled that the absence of DSP Musa's testimony was inconsequential .

Apex court judge Justice Suriyadi Halim Omar, who wrote the unanimous judgment in finding Azilah and Sirul guilty said that while th e lawyers complained that DSP Musa's testimony, if called upon by the prosecution, could have provided details regarding Abdul Razak Baginda's (photo) sworn affidavit, the court was satisfied that the content (of the affidavit) was merely confirmatory.

“It is only useful to Abdul Razak. It merely confirmed evidence adduced from Altantuya Shaariibuu's cousin and friend that he had had a relationship with the deceased.

"We are therefore unable to see how much more details DSP Musa could produce that would contribute to the respondents' defence. The calling of DSP Musa - let alone the tendering of the text messages - would not have affected the evidence pertaining to Abdul Razak's relationship one tiny bit.

“We also observed that DSP Musa never instructed Azilah how to assist Abdul Razak, but was merely told to meet up with him, and Azilah acted on his own discretion and sensibilities,” Justice Suriyadi had written.

This is despite the Court of Appeal in acquitting Azilah and Sirul on June 23, 2013, where Apandi was leading the bench when he was an appellate court judge in the unanimous decision had ruled that non-calling of Musa constituted a serious misdirection by the prosecution, where it constituted a mistrial.

Razak Baginda acquitted, no appeal

Azilah, together with corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, were convicted of Altantuya's ( photo ) murder after the final appeal at the Federal Court early this year.

Azilah is awaiting his death sentence while Sirul had fled to Australia.

Razak Baginda was charged for abetting murder but was acquitted by the Shah Alam High Court in 2008. The prosecution did not appeal the case.

Mohamed Apandi said even fugitive Sirul, in his statement from the dock, implicated no one except Razak Baginda and admitted to only acting under Azilah's orders.

"The late private investigator, P Balasubramaniam, too never mentioned any role played by the prime minister, whether in his statement to the police or in his testimony in court.

"Therefore, the attempts by the parties and individuals mentioned above to somehow connect the prime minister to the murder case is completely without basis," he said.

The murder remains a mystery as the motive was never established.

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