COMMENT | Suaram has been calling for the abolition of the death penalty ever since we have existed. There is no better time for our country to abolish the death penalty than the present predicament we face in trying to extradite Sirul Azhar Umar, one of the convicted murderers of Altantuya Shaariibuu, from Australia.
Since the Australian government cannot bring itself to return someone to Malaysia where he will be facing the death penalty, the just and reasonable thing to do is to do away with the death penalty once and for all. In so doing, we can ensure that this other convicted killer of Altantuya faces justice in our country.
Need for a retrial in the Altantuya Case
In the case of the two convicted murderers of Altantuya, I don’t think full justice has been done to the Mongolian lass since the motive for the murder was never established by the court. If the death penalty is carried out, we will never know the full story of why they murdered the woman; whether she was connected with the purchase of the RM7 billion Scorpene submarines, or if they were induced by people in power to murder her.
There have been too many inconsistencies in the Altantuya case, for example:
- The assertion that all records of Altantuya's entry and presence in Malaysia were erased from the computers of the Immigration Department - the Immigration Department needs to clarify this fact;
- the sudden removal of the presiding judge before the trial started and the changing of the head of the prosecution team at the eleventh hour;
- the fact that the defence lawyers for the three accused kept changing, with one walking out on the first day of the hearing, charging that "third parties" were interfering in his work;
- when both defence lawyers and prosecutors cut off a witness (Altantuya’s cousin) from testifying further when she revealed that the victim had shown her a photograph of herself, Razak Baginda, Najib and "others" having lunch in a Paris restaurant...