Australian police have tracked down the whereabouts of the mastermind said to be behind the murder of PKR’s Bill Kayong and hiding there.
However, it is not that easy to bring him home to face justice.
The Malay Mail Online quoted Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Rod Smith as saying the suspect’s extradition to Malaysia “is subject to a legal process in Australia”.
Smith said this after paying a courtesy call to Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem in Kuching today.
He did not elaborate further but the “legal process” could be in reference to the part in Australian law that prevents the country from returning fugitives to any nation where the person could be subject to the death penalty.
Malaysia and Australia have a formal extradition agreement but the latter does not recognise the death penalty – which is sometimes imposed on murder suspects in Malaysia.
It is this setback that has prevented Australia from extraditing former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar, who ran away to the country before his conviction for the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu was upheld.
In Kayong’s case, the mastermind, a Datuk, is said to have fled to Singapore two days after the murder on June 21, before eventually flying to Melbourne, Australia.
Two men – Mohamad Fitri Pauzi, 29, and Lie Chang Loon, 37 — have already been charged with the murder, and abetment, while a third suspect surrendered to Miri police last week.
Kayong, 43, whose Muslim name is Mohd Hasbie Abdullah, was gunned down while in his Toyota Hilux vehicle about 8.30am on June 21 at a traffic light intersection at Lutong, near the E-Mart supermarket, in Jalan Miri-Bintulu.
The deceased was an advocate of social issues, especially indigenous rights and land issues.