Altantuya murder trial begins: reality Vs fiction (cont’d)

The high profile murder case of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu which was supposed to start this morning was postponed to 18 June 2007. The prosecution applied for more time to prepare the case as there was a last minute change on the prosecution team.

DPP Tun Abd. Majid Tun Hamzah received instructions yesterday evening to replace DPP Sallehuddin Saidin. Judicial Commissioner Dato’ Mohd. Zaki Yasin allowed the postponement for another two weeks for the new team to prepare.

Defence lawyer Wong Kian Kheong, representing Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda requested his client to be allowed to be released on bail giving the reason that he has already submitted his international passport to the court but was summarily denied.

Bernama online, www.bernama.com, has the story:

June 04, 2007 12:10 PM

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Altantuya Murder Case Postponed To June 18, Razak Denied Bail

SHAH ALAM, June 4 Jun (Bernama) — The Altantuya murder case which started in the High Court here Monday was postponed to June 18 and is expected to last till August in view of the large number of prosecution witnesses.

Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yassin fixed the date after allowing a postponement sought by deputy public prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah who had just taken over the case.

He said the trial would continue if all the prosecution witnesses had not completed their testimonies by August.

The trial was previously fixed for four weeks starting Monday.

Mohd Zaki also rejected an application for bail by Wong Kian Kheong, counsel for political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, who is charged with abetting two policemen in committing the murder.

Tun Abdul Majid told the court at the start of the trial that he was assigned the case by the Attorney-General’s Chambers yesterday and needed time to look through the statements of more than 100 witnesses.

He will be assisted by deputy public prosecutor Manoj Kurup. The case was previously handled by head of the Classified Cases Unit of the AG’s Chambers Sallehuddin Saidin and deputy public prosecutor Noreen Badaruddin.

C/Insp Azilah Hadri, 30, and Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar, 35, are charged with murdering Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28, at Lots 12843 and 16735, Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20 last year.

Abdul Razak, 46, is charged with abetting them at Bangunan Getah Asli in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, between 9.54am and 11.05am on Oct 18.

They face the death sentence if convicted.

The courthouse was packed with members of the public, the accused’s family members, local and foreign media representatives and observers who wanted to follow the proceedings in the high-profile case.

— BERNAMA

On another story, the family of murdered Mongolian part time model Altantuya Shaariibuu has filed a suit against the three accused and the Government of Malaysia for a whopping sum of RM 100 million. YB Karpal Singh, a veteran Opposition politician and also renowned trial lawyer represented the family and watching brief at the murder trial, submitted the application at the Shah Alam civil courts this morning.

The Star online, www.thestar.com.my, has the story:

Altantuya trial postponed, family sues govt and accused

PETALING JAYA: The Shah Alam High Court has postponed the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial to June 18 to allow the new prosecution team time to prepare its case.

In the meantime, her family has filed an RM100mil civil suit against the Government of Malaysia as well as the three defendants in her murder trial which began Monday.

The three include policemen Cif Inspektor Azilah Hadri, 31, and Koperal Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, who are charged with committing the murder in Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20 last year.

The third is political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 47, who is accused of abetting the two Unit Tindakan Khas (special action force) personnel, allegedly committed his offence at the Bangunan Getah Asli in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, between 9.54am and 11.05am on Oct 18 last year.

The trial has garnered much attention in local and foreign media because of Abdul Razak’s policital connections as well as the gruesome manner in which the 28-year-old Altantuya was killed. The Monggolian beauty was apparently blown up with explosives after having been shot dead.

Justice Mohd Zaki Md Yasin is presiding over the case. The prosecutors are head of the Civil Division in the Attorney-General’s Chambers Tun Majid Tun Hamzah and Deputy Public Prosecutor M. Kurup. Veteran lawyer Karpal Singh is holding a watching brief for Altantuya’s family.

That is a little strange. These three people are at this point of time, the “accused” aka “defendants”. They have not been found guilty yet. So why is the father suing people who have not been found guilty yet? Has the father pass his own personal judgment when the trial has not even started yet? Is this another drama in the making? Trust people like Karpal Singh to ride on situation like this.

Will Anwar Ibrahim and Susan Loone now come up with their own statements and stories on why the prosecution team from the AG’s Chambers was swtiched the last minute and therefore asked for postponement of the trial? How about Mr Shaariibuu Setev’s decision to sue the three accused and the Government of Malaysia, will Anwar and Susan offer their own analysis?

Again, may the truth save us all!

 

 

 

 

*An update as of 1900hrs, Monday 4 June 2007.

This is just in. Former Deputy Prime Minister and former convict Anwar Ibrahim has issued a statement on the Altantuya murder trial. It was e mailed:

 

MEDIA STATEMENT

 

4 June 2007

 

 

ALTANTUYA TRIAL

 

 

 

I regret that the Attorney General’s Chamber decided to change the prosecutor team at the eleventh hour. This is an unprofessional and irresponsible act, considering the importance and significance of the trial. The world is watching us.

 

 

 

Doubt has also been cast when one of the defense lawyers, Zulkifli Noordin has to withdraw from the case. His statement proved that there was interference by third party that compromised his ability to prepare for the trial.

 

 

 

Malaysia has to understand that, the Altantuya case also put Malaysian judiciary on trial.

 

 

 

 

ANWAR IBRAHIM

 

 

 

Who is Anwar Ibrahim? Where is his locus standi in this trial by saying that? Is he representing the aggrieved party? Is he representing the Bar Council? Why is a third party making statement with regards to the trial?

It is not unlawful that the prosecution asked for postponement. After all, the lead DPP was just handed with the case and he needs time to study it and build his case. It is in the interests of justice that he is being given ample time and space to prepare for the case. So why is Anwar making this statement?

Is there another court room drama in the making and Anwar wants to be part of it, again? If so, why not assemble to old team back again, since Karpal is already there?


 

Published in: on June 4, 2007 at 14:00  Comments (6)