ALTANTUYA RETURNS, NAJIB CRINGES – HER FAMILY CAN HAVE ACCESS TO POLICE STATEMENTS, RULES COURT OF APPEAL

Altantuya’s family can have access to police statements, orders court

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has ruled that the family of murdered Mongolian citizen Altantuya Shaariibuu is entitled to have access to statements recorded by the police from those who assisted in her murder probe in 2006.

Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo said a three-member bench, chaired by Nor Bee Ariffin, in allowing the appeal, held the 112 statements were not privileged documents and did not affect public interest.

This included statements recorded from political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda and former policemen Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri, the defendants in the on-going civil proceedings.

The other judges were Supang Lian and Mariana Yahya.

Sangeet said the bench also ruled that tampering of witnesses did not arise as the criminal trial was concluded a long time ago.

Last year, Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, who is the trial judge in the civil case, dismissed the application, saying that the statements had been taken in confidence and for the purpose of the criminal trial.

Altantuya’s father, Setev, his wife, Altantsetseg Sanjaa, and Altantuya’s son, Mungunshagai Bayarjargal, had named Razak, the government, Sirul and Azilah as defendants in their suit.

Alleging conspiracy in Altantuya’s murder, they are seeking RM100 million in damages, including dependency claims.

At least 10 witnesses for Altantuya’s family have given evidence in the case which began in January 2019. The case will continue on Jan 11.

The Federal Court in 2015 restored the High Court verdict that found Sirul and Azilah were responsible for the murder of Altantuya, who was described as an interpreter.

Razak, who was charged with abetment in the murder, was freed at the end of the prosecution’s case. The court ruled that the charge against him was not proven and the government did not appeal, a move that drew public condemnation.

Neither Sirul, who is being held at an Australian detention centre, nor Azilah, who is on death row at Kajang prison, have challenged the suit.

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