Hornbill Unleashed

August 28, 2013

Court: Sirul could have been framed for Altantuya murder

Hafiz Yatim

While the Court of Appeal last Friday detailed the non-calling of Najib Abdul Razak’s aide-de-camp DSP Musa Safri as a factor in acquitting the two Special Action Unit officers, the written judgment also states that the second accused, Sirul Azhar Umar, could have been framed.

Sirul Azhar in his testimony from the dock had described how he had been made “a scapegoat” by the police, to be sacrificed in order to protect their plans.

In the written judgment released today, Court of Appeal judge Tengku Maimum Tuan Mat described why it was unsafe to accept the evidence from the police officers who went to Sirul Azhar’s Kota Damansara home.

“There is thus a conflicting and inconclusive account of events as regards the discovery of the black jacket and (Altantuya Shaariibuu’s jewellery). There is also no conclusive account of what exactly was said by Sirul as regards the jacket.

Justice Tengku Maimum said according to one of the police witnesses, ASP Zulkarnain Hassan, Sirul Azhar had told him he kept the items (jewellery) in the jacket, but the testimony of another officer did not disclose any such statement being made.

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The judge said Sirul Azhar had contended that one of the police officers, who said the jewellery was kept in the black jacket, had asked the accused (Sirul Azhar) to hold the jacket for the purpose of him being photographed with it, twice.

“The same officer took out some items from inside the same jacket and placed them on the bed before forcing him (Sirul Azhar) to point, by his finger, at all those items again for his pictures to be taken.

“The second appellant is thus saying that the police had planted the jewellery in his house. Relevant to this issue is the fact that the keys to the house were in the possession of the police prior to the search for the black jacket from inside the unlocked cupboard in Sirul’s unlocked room,” Justice Tengku Maimum said.

Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar were discharged and acquitted last Friday, after the Court  of Appeal ruled there were serious misdirections by the court.

The appellate court also contrasted the evidence of Zulkarnain and the other officer who were in Sirul Azhar’s house and noted conflicting and inconclusive accounts of events with regard to the discovery of the black jacket and jewellery.

Justice Tengku Maimun said the trial-within-a-trial version conducted to determine this supported Sirul Azhar’s version that it was Zulkarnain who had directed him to show the items.

Conflicting police reports

The court also noted that Zulkarnain had interviewed Sirul Azhar prior to going to his house but what puzzled the court was why Zulkarnain had his own particulars wrong when lodging the police report on the interrogation.

“This is followed by another police report tendered by Sirul Azhar’s defence, purportedly by Zulkarnain with his name spelt wrongly, along with his date of birth wrongly stated and his rank as Chief Inspector (and not ASP).”

The two police reports had different versions and this, the court found, led to discrepancies.

altantuya razak baginda crime scene 180707 mediaSimilarly, with the evidence on Azilah purportedly leading them to the crime scene in Puncak Alam, the court found it was unsafe to accept the testimonies of the police witnesses.

This follows the contradictory account where one police officer claimed Azilah had shown the crime scene where Altantuya was blown up, and the place where she was first shot.

However, another officer contradicted the testimony, claiming Azilah had shown the place where Altantuya was first shot. In addition, an officer claimed he had informed his superior officer about the crime scene discovery by calling him on the handphone. However, the superior said he had not received such a call from his subordinate.

“We find there is a non-direction by the learned trial judge in failing to evaluate the evidence before admitting the police statements (testimonies),” ruled Justice Tengku Maimun.

Blood-stained slippers planted?

Similarly with the blood-stained slippers found in Sirul Azhar’s car, the court said the accused left his car keys with one Sergeant Rosli as the accused was on overseas assignment, in Pakistan.

“Sergeant Rosli had testified that he had not seen the (blood-stained) slippers when he started Sirul Azhar’s car twice. What was important that Sergeant Rosli had also testified that one DSP Mohd Khairi Khairuddin had asked for Sirul’s car keys for some unknown reason and Khairi handed the keys back to him three days later,” he said.

The court noted that Khairi was not called by the prosecution to testify and hence there was no evidence as to what happened in the car while it was under that officer’s custody.

Non-calling of Musa Safri

Attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail had defended the non-calling of Musa as irrelevant.

Justice Tengku Maimun said the court could not accept the prosecution’s logic on the non-calling of Musa, as political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was jointly tried with Azilah and Sirul Azhar from the outset and it was the prosecution’s case that Abdul Razak had conspired with the two policemen to commit murder.

abdul razak baginda altantuya mongolian case 040607 lead“Hence it is incumbent upon the prosecution to adduce all available, relevant evidence against the third  accused. The affidavit by Abdul Razak, which has been taken by the learned trial judge to be part of the prosecution’s evidence, contains  prejudicial matters against the appellants and it tends to suggest the guilt of the appellants.

“In fact, since Abdul Razak was acquitted and discharged with no appeal lodged by the prosecution, it appears that whatever the appellants did in committing the crime was entirely on their own accord.”

Justice Tengku Maimun said it must not be overlooked that “this ugly and horrendous episode” started with Abdul Razak’s request to Musa, before the two accused came into the picture.

“The evidence established that the appellants’ task was to patrol Abdul Razak’s house and their presence on Oct 19, 2006, was upon the request for such assistance from the political analyst to Azilah.

“The trial judge is bound to view the whole of the evidence objectively and from all angles in finding whether the evidence or the  facts point to the irresistible inference and conclusion that both the appellants committed this crime or whether there are some other reasonably possible explanation of those facts.

“Now that the task of patrolling the house had ended with murder, we agree with Sirul Azhar’s lawyers  that only Musa can confirm the scope of the request,” the judge ruled.

The court in its judgment found that circumstantial evidence was insufficient and not strong enough to sustain the finding of guilt.

“We are conscious that a heinous crime has been committed but where the guilt of the appellants had not been satisfactorily proved, we are constrained to give the benefit of the doubt to the appellants,” she said in ending the 47-page judgment.

3 Comments »

  1. 100K + promise of more … altan

    Comment by tigeryk — August 30, 2013 @ 4:49 AM | Reply

  2. If Baginda Razak and Najib Tun Razak who were romantically linked to Altantuyah and both were implicated in the Scorpoene scandal, did not order her to be killed, who did? Baginda Razak’s wife? Najib Tun Razak’s wife? No enemy of this nation has ever been shot in the head and blasted to pieces. Nt even the communists were killed like this when captured. Why did Najib assure Baginda Razak that everything would be fine after he was arrested? Did private investigator, BaLA, die of heart attack or was he given medication that could cause cardiac arrest?

    Comment by Special Branch — August 28, 2013 @ 10:12 PM | Reply

    • The soul of Altantuyah will push for the truth and shall not rest until someone becomes insane.

      Comment by Awaken Dayak — August 29, 2013 @ 10:26 PM | Reply


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