Report: Australia steps up security for Sirul amid safety concerns
Senior Australian Border Force officials are personally vetting all visitors to former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar amid concerns for his safety, The Australian reported today.
According to the report, Sirul is now being held alone in a double room at Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Centre and Canberra officials, rather than the centre’s manager, are vetting his visitors.
Among others, Sirul’s visitors are now subjected to full security screenings and their names were run through the Australian government’s intelligence database.
The report also stated that the “extraordinary” measures were taken amid fears that Sirul could be subjected to harm or threats from Malaysia’s Special Branch intelligence agency.
In recent weeks, Sirul had released three videos in which he claimed that there were attempts to use him to engineer the downfall of someone.
A source had also told Malaysiakini that Sirul has, in a yet to be released video, allegedly revealed the names of those who purportedly attempted to bribe or coax him into implicating Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Sirul’s confessions were reportedly shot inside Villawood, but The Australian quoted unnamed officials who believe the videos could pre-date his arrival there in January last year.
It was also reported that Australia’s Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had declined to comment on the case while the former corporal’s protection visa is being processed.
Sirul fled to Australia prior to the Federal Court overturning his acquittal and convicting him and another ex-police commando, Azilah Hadri, of murdering Altantuya.