The new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government must, as a matter of urgency, take the necessary steps to investigate the motive behind the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu which remains one of the world’s great mysteries.
Two officers were found guilty of the murder of Altantuya in 2006 by the Federal Court in 2015. One of them, Azilah Hadri is on death row in Kajang prison while the other, Sirul Azhar Umar fled the country before the said Federal Court decision and is currently being held in Australia. A third accused, Razak Baginda was acquitted by the Shah Alam High Court without calling for his defence which the prosecution curiously did not appeal against.
It is shocking that the prosecution did not lead evidence during the trial in relation to who ordered the said two officers to murder Altantuya particularly when it was clear that they did not even know her and certainly had no reason to do so on their own. Furthermore, the fact that C4 explosives (which are only available from the Ministry of Defence) were used to blow up her body has fueled speculation that her murder may have been ordered by parties connected to the government.
As a final judgment has been pronounced in the said murder trial, it is not possible to re-try the said officers for the purpose of determining who ordered Altantuya’s murder as this would be contrary to Article 7(2) of the Federal Constitution which prohibits the retrial of Azilah and Sirul as they have already been convicted of Altantuya’s murder.
In such circumstances, it is necessary for investigations into Altantuya’s murder to be re-opened immediately on the question of who ordered the same. If it is found from those investigations that certain parties instructed Azilah and Sirul to murder Altantuya, those parties must be charged for her murder as well for having shared a common intention with Azilah and Sirul to murder her even though they did not pull the trigger.
Alternatively, I call upon the Prime Minister to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to convene a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to determine who ordered Altantuya’s murder. The findings of the RCI in this regard can form the basis of a subsequent charge against those who ordered Altantuya’s murder.
I had, on numerous occasions, inquired into the status of the extradition of Sirul from Australia in Parliament over the past three years only to be told by the Home Ministry that the government was looking into the matter which had to be thoroughly studied as the said extradition process was a complicated one. Such an explanation does not inspire
confidence at all and raises suspicion that the then Barisan Nasional (BN) government deliberately did not want to extradite Sirul as he might be in possession of information which might implicate certain parties.
The new PH government must demonstrate strong political will to get to the bottom of the murder of Altantuya or risk being labelled as no different from its predecessor.
I have said before that the world must know who ordered the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu and the reason or reasons behind such order. The PH government must act swiftly in this regard in accordance with the rule of law.