Altantuya murder: Malaysian court sets hearing date for convicted killer's appeal bid

Altantuya murder: Malaysian court sets hearing date for convicted killer's appeal bid

Azilah Altantuya murder
Abdul Razak Baginda is pictured with former police commandos Sirul Azhar Umar (central) and Azilah Hadri (left) who have their faces covered, Jun 29, 2007. (File photo: AFP/Tengku Bahar)

PUTRAJAYA: Former Malaysian police commando Azilah Hadri’s application to appeal his conviction and death sentence for murdering Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu will be heard by the Federal Court on Apr 20.

The date was set by the apex court's deputy registrar Azniza Mohd Ali on Tuesday (Dec 17), after the ex-cop alleged that former prime minister Najib Razak, who was then deputy prime minister, had ordered Altantuya's murder.

Azilah made the allegation in a 32-page statutory declaration that he submitted as part of his review application on Dec 5. The news of his allegation was carried on the front pages of Malaysian media on Tuesday.

Najib has denied the allegations and will file his own application to intervene in Azilah's review application, Najib's lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the media.

READ: 'I never met her': Najib denies links with slain Mongolian model Altantuya

Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo, who represents Altantuya's family, said she would apply to the court to observe the review application hearing.

Altantuya, 28, was shot dead and her body blown up by military-grade C4 explosives in Shah Alam in 2006.

She was said to be the lover of Abdul Razak Baginda, a political analyst who advised former Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak from 2000 to 2008. 

SEEKING RETRIAL

Azilah’s lawyer J Kuldeep Kumar said his client is seeking to set aside his conviction and death sentence imposed by the Federal Court on Jan 13, 2015 and to put the case to retrial.

The 43-year-old former member of the police's Special Actions Unit (UTK) is on death row at the Kajang Prison.

Azilah and fellow UTK officer Sirul Azhar Umar were convicted and sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court in 2009.

The Court of Appeal on Aug 23, 2013, allowed the appeal brought by the two police commandos to set aside 2009 decision.

In January 2015, the Federal Court overturned the acquittal of Azilah and Sirul Azhar and restored the decision of the Shah Alam High Court. It also imposed the mandatory death sentence.

READ: Altantuya's son says he had to change his name after mother's death, Malaysian court hears

The then chief justice Arifin Zakaria, who had led the panel of judges, also issued a warrant for the arrest of Sirul Azhar, who did not turn up in court.

Sirul Azhar, 47, has been held in a detention centre in Australia for several years after he fled in 2014 while on bail. He is also seeking for a retrial.

Former political analyst Abdul Razak, 55, who was initially charged with abetting Azilah and Sirul Azhar, was acquitted by the High Court on Oct 31, 2008. The prosecution did not appeal against his acquittal.

Source: Bernama/jt(mi)

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