Sarawak police have no confirmation from their Australian counterparts or Interpol regarding an Australian high commissioner’s revelation that the mastermind in Bill Kayong’s murder has been located.
Commenting on Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Rod Smith’s remarks to the effect during a press conference in Kuching yesterday, Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Mazlan Mansor said they needed corroboration to proceed.
“The disclosure was made by Smith, but we are still waiting for official word from the Australians. Investigations are still ongoing but there has been no update from Interpol either,” he was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post news portal.
He also denied that authorities here have frozen the bank accounts and assets of the fugitive, a “Datuk”, but said the move was being considered.
When asked about the possible issues with extraditing the man said to have planned the murder of the Sarawak PKR leader, Mazlan said the police will work within the constraints of existing laws, both domestic and international.
Smith yesterday hinted at the “legal process” of extraditing the fugitive from Australia. Australian law prevents the country from returning a fugitive to any nation where the person may be subject to the death penalty.
Murder in Malaysia is a capital offence. The same complication has prevented Australia from repatriating former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar who fled there before his conviction for murdering Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu was upheld.
“The process is beyond the country’s jurisdiction, so we have to follow Interpol’s rules as well as other existing laws,” Mazlan was further quoted as saying in the report published today.
Kayong, an activist and PKR candidate during the May 7 Sarawak election, was shot dead at a traffic light in Miri on June 21.
Police here formed a taskforce to investigate the murder, leading to the arrests of nine people, seven of whom were later released.
On July 15, the main suspect, Mohamad Fitri Pauzi, 29, was charged with Kayong’s murder, while the second accused, Lie Chang Loon, 37, was charged with abetting him in the crime.
The alleged mastermind is one of two suspects still at large; he reportedly fled to Melbourne, Australia via Singapore in July 3.
The Malay Mail Online