Sunday, December 03, 2023

Reinvestigate Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder case(Malaysiakini)


LETTER | Reinvestigate Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder case
Charles Hector
Published:  Nov 29, 2023 10:31 AM
Updated: 9:31 AMLETTER
Madpet (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) calls for prosecution and higher penalties for person/s who ordered or paid another to kill or murder. This is an abuse of power and wealth.

Merely prosecuting actual murderers/killers or criminals is not enough, noting that there may be occasions where the murder/crime was committed by person/s by reason of having to follow orders of another or being paid by another to commit specific crimes.

Until the abolition of the mandatory death penalty, the accused killer gains nothing by disclosing accomplices or information about people who ordered or paid for the killing, as it does not change the fact that they are still guilty of the crime of murder and would be sentenced to death.

Even the disclosure that they were ordered or paid by another will not reduce the sentence, as there is no possibility of this fact mitigating one’s sentence by reason of providing assistance to the authorities that will help identify or prosecute accomplices, including those that gave the order to kill or paid the accused to kill. The fact that they killed means they will be sentenced to death.

However, today, after the Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023 came into force on July 4, Section 302 of the Penal Code which provides for the crime of murder now reads:

“Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment for a term of not less than 30 years but not exceeding 40 years and if not sentenced to death, shall also be punished with whipping of not less than twelve strokes.”

Alternative sentence

Now, there is an alternative sentence other than death, hence the ability of the court to consider mitigation is restored.

The disclosure of the fact that one was paid by another to kill, or ordered by another to kill, is still no guarantee that the court will not impose the death penalty, given the fact that the accused did indeed kill.

Most lawyers will reasonably advise clients in criminal cases to remain silent unless the evidence they give will exonerate them from the crime totally. Naturally, this would be the position taken at the court of first instance right until all the two appeals are exhausted. Even after that, silence could be secured by threats or even payments of money.

Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu

On Nov 24, former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar appeared in an Al Jazeera programme, where he admitted to being involved in the kidnapping of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu, but denied killing her. He said he was acting on orders. He also claimed that the evidence was planted against him.

He also alleged that he received RM1 million from unnamed sources for his silence on the murder during his detention in Australia. He said a prominent politically-linked lawyer was involved in the payment.

On Nov 24, lawyer Hasnal Rezua Merican denied Sirul's claims that he instructed Sirul to make a video exonerating a top leader of any involvement in the murder of Altantuya.

Azilah Hadri

We must recall also that former chief inspector Azilah Hadri, the other person convicted of Altantuya’s murder, also did previously release a damning statutory declaration from Kajang Prison implicating former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Thus, Madpet finds it appalling that the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) regarded the statement by Sirul regarding his conviction as unfounded and could create more speculation.

Inspector-General of Police Razarudin Husain said Sirul had been given the opportunity to defend himself in line with Malaysian laws and constitution. “However, his (Sirul) claims were never submitted to any court that heard his case, from the High Court to the Federal Court."

Inspector-General of Police Razarudin Husain

Sadly, this statement by Razarudin is wrong. It must be independently investigated, where the police must make a police report to commence investigation and only after that make any conclusion as to whether it is ‘unfounded’ or not.

Madpet believes that all these allegations must now be thoroughly investigated to determine whether Najib's two former bodyguards were really ordered to kill or paid by another to kill, and if so, the said giver of orders or the one who paid for the killing must be investigated and prosecuted to ensure justice be done.

Was there a ‘bribe’ for silence, or for the production of some ‘fake’ video?

Given the police’s recent response, it may also be apt to consider setting up an independent Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate this matter. Alternatively, Suhakam or maybe even the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) ought to enquire into the matter to determine the truth once and for all.

We also recall that in 2018 Anwar Ibrahim did tell The Australian newspaper the original trial and the judges' ruling was "compromised" and the reluctance of the judges to call relevant witnesses "made a mockery of the law".

"The best way is to proffer a new charge and allow for a full hearing of the case," he said.

Higher penalties

Madpet calls for an independent reinvestigation of the Altantuya’s murder in light of the revelations by Sirul with the object of determining the truth, including whether there were other accomplices who ordered the killing or paid another to kill.

Madpet also calls for an investigation into the alleged payment for silence.

We also call for a comprehensive investigation to determine whether there were others liable other than the one who committed the crime, as justice will not be served if some escape justice simply because the police elected to end investigations once the perpetrator committed the crime.

We also urge for higher penalties to be imposed on persons who ordered or paid another to commit crimes, for without such persons the crime would never have been committed. It is an abuse of power or wealth that must never be tolerated.

CHARLES HECTOR is a spokesperson for the group Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet). - Malaysiakini, 29/11/2023

See full statement -

Investigate NOW Allegations of Existence of Person Who Ordered/Paid for Altantuya Shaariibuu’s Murder, and ...(MADPET)

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