Hear appeal before GE-13: New evidence from Altanuya's dad has STRONG implications
I refer to the pending appeal to the Court of Appeal by Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Omar against their conviction for the murder of Mongolian national Alatantuya Shaaribu.
Azilah and Sirul were convicted by the High Court as long ago as April 2009. The delay of this public interest appeal case for more than 3 years is unusual and unacceptable.
The appeal is now to be heard only on August 27 2012. It is cruel and unjust to inflict such a lengthy delay in the appeal of death penalty cases.The accused must remain on death row, in the shadow of the noose, until the appeal is disposed off.
New evidence from Altantuya's dad
This is a case of grave public interest. Sirul and Azilah were members of the Prime Minister's security detail at the time of the commission of the offence and Najib himself has been publicly implicated in the Altantuya-Scorpene case.
The PM's close associate Abdul Razak Baginda was also charged for the murder, but subsequently acquitted. Now further evidence has emerged that has implications for the pending appeal.
The late Altantuya's father has said in Malaysia this week that he has seen a photo of Najib with Altantuya in Paris. Prior to this, Prime Minister Najib had publicly denied ever meeting Altantuya.
Rakyat have the right to know and decide on their leaders
The mystery is that Azilah and Sirul appear to have had no motive to have killed Altantuya. If so, who then ordered the killing?
It is in the public interest that this appeal be heard expeditiously, preferably before the 13th general elaction; the public is entitled to answers before going to the ballot box.
The public is also entitled to know the reasons for the unconscionable and intolerable delaying of the appeal.
N Surendran is the vice president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat