MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, May 19, 2022

In bold move, Razak tells court he won’t testify in Altantuya’s death negligence suit


Former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda says full submissions will be made in due course in a negligence suit brought by Altantuya Shaariibuu’s family.

SHAH ALAM: In a surprise move, former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda informed the High Court today that he has no case to answer in a negligence suit brought by Altantuya Shaariibuu’s family.

Lead counsel Manjeet Singh Dhillon informed trial judge Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera that “they were instructed and have instruction” that Razak’s decision was based on the pleadings filed and evidence led in court.

“Full submissions will be made in due course. Any and all reservations made as to the admissibility of evidence during this trial are reserved,” he said.

By doing this, the confidant of former prime minister Najib Razak is in effect stating that he need not rebut the plaintiffs’ case as liability has not been proven. It also means that as he has chosen not to testify, lawyers for Altantuya’s family will not be able to cross-examine him.

Earlier, lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo, appearing for the family, told Vazeer they were closing their case after having called 27 witnesses, including Tonny Lunggan who investigated the murder of the Mongolian woman 16 years ago.

The court had allowed four cautioned statements recorded from Razak in the course of the investigation to be admitted as evidence through Tonny.

In one of the statements, it was revealed that Razak informed a recording officer that police officer Azilah Hadri had told him he could “finish off” (habiskan) Altantuya and that he (Azilah) had done this several times in the past.

However, Razak, during a meeting on Oct 18, 2006, at his office in Kuala Lumpur, reminded Azilah not “to go to that extent” as Altantuya’s family would look for him (Razak).

Tonny, in his witness statement read in court yesterday, said Razak had sought the assistance of Musa Safri, then aide-de-camp of then deputy prime minister Najib Razak on Oct 16 or 17, 2006, due to harassment by Altantuya.

Musa had then despatched Azilah to meet Razak and offer assistance.

Razak, in his defence, said he did not conspire with Azilah to murder Altantuya, his lover, as stated in an affidavit.

Altantuya’s father Setev, mother Altantsetseg Sanjaa and son Mungunshagai Bayarjargal have named Razak, the government, Sirul and Azilah as the defendants in their suit, alleging conspiracy in her murder.

They are seeking RM100 million in damages, including dependency claims.

Sirul and Azilah were convicted in 2009 by the High Court of killing Altantuya, who was described as an interpreter.

They succeeded in overturning their conviction at the Court of Appeal in 2013, but the Federal Court in 2015 restored their conviction and sentenced them to death. Sirul fled to Australia before the final verdict.

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.

Meanwhile, the government, represented by senior federal counsel Zetty Zurina Kamaruddin, Tengku Intan Suraya Tengku Ismail and Khairuddin Anbar, will close their case after calling two more witnesses.

The government has taken the position that Azilah and Sirul committed the crime on their own.

Razak was also represented by Avtaran Singh, P Mithran and Eswinder Kaur Gill while Ramkarpal Singh, Harshaan Zaamani, Simranjit Kaur and Hoe Mei Lei also appeared for Altantuya’s family. - FMT

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.