Saturday, August 24, 2013
The DAP legal bureau today offered its services to prosecutors in the high-profile murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, suggesting that an overworked Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) may have led to the acquittal of two former policemen previously convicted of the killing.
This comes as Segambut MP and bureau member Lim Lip Eng (picture) lodged a police report in Jinjang here over the Court of Appeal’s decision to free ex-police commandos Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar of their conviction in 2009 of the gruesome murder.
“Give DAP legal bureau the fiat (authorisation order), we will make sure the correct person is prosecuted and convicted,” Lim said in a statement here.
Lim said the bureau was offering its help to the AGC due to the high-profile nature of the case.
“Maybe the AGC is short-handed. We just want to offer our help; together we can solve the case,” he said.
He pointed out that the move was permissible by law, citing the recent appointment of lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as public prosecutor in the appeal against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II acquittal.
Muhammad Shafee was given the authority by the Attorney-General to lead the prosecution team in its appeal against Anwar’s acquittal on a charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Anwar’s defence team, however, filed a motion in the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya yesterday to disqualify the appointment.
Earlier today, PKR’s R. Sivarasa criticised the Court of Appeal over the two former policemen’s acquittal, saying it should have ordered a retrial instead.
The Subang MP stressed that the appellate court was empowered to do so, especially when there were a number of key witnesses who were not called during the High Court trial that led to the duo’s conviction in 2009.
“There is ample power under the law in section 60 of the Courts Judicature Act 1964 to order a retrial which is regularly done in appeals,” Sivarasa said.
In a decision that stirred controversy yesterday, a three-man panel of the appellate court unanimously allowed Azilah and Sirul’s appeal.
Azilah and Sirul, both formerly with the police’s Special Action Unit (UTK), had been found guilty in 2009 of the murder of Altantuya in Mukim Bukit Raja in Klang between 10pm on October 19, 2006 and 1am on October 20, 2006.
The Mongolian model’s murder trial had been surrounded by political intrigue due to links drawn from the personalities involved in the case.
Azilah and Sirul had been part of a security detail for then-Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak while Abdul Razak Baginda, who was charged with and later acquitted of abetting the duo, was a former adviser to Najib.
During the course of their trial, it was revealed that Altantuya was shot and her body blown-up with explosives in a jungle clearing on the night of October 19.
The duo had been charged under section 149 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Sirul and Azilah were both released from Tapah Prison yesterday after the Court of Appeal overturned the decision.