Ramkarpal wants definite answer on Sirul’s extradition

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KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh urged Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to confirm, once and for all, if the government intends to extradite Sirul Azhar Umar to Malaysia given the repeated assurances early on, in Parliament.

“The matter is certainly of public interest and deserves immediate attention as it has been nearly two years since Sirul was convicted and sentenced to death by the Federal Court,” said Ramkarpal.

There must be an explanation why the extradition has not taken place until today, he said in a statement.

Furthermore, he added, there can be no doubt the family of Altantuya Shaariibuu (victim) is entitled to an answer as the matter has been long outstanding.

The Government’s inconsistent replies on the issue give rise to suspicion that it has no interest in extraditing Sirul or at the very least, negotiating his return, the MP added.

Furthermore, he stressed, the excuse that the extradition process was a complicated one shows the incompetence of the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

“Surely, it can’t take almost two years to figure out how to extradite someone,” said Ramkarpal.

He admitted that the Australian Government does not support the death penalty and may refuse Sirul’s extradition on this ground but he said, that does not relieve the government of its duty to attempt extraditing him.

“The government has given repeated assurances in Parliament that it would do so,” he said.

Ramkarpal said he had repeatedly asked the home minister and the prime minister in Parliament about the status of the said extradition proceedings and allegations made by Sirul on five occasions – May 27, June 10 and November 17 in 2015 and May 19 and October 17 this year – but to no avail.

On each occasion, he recalled, the answer was quite standard – the government was in the process of negotiating with the Australian Government and that the matter was a complicated one.

It has been 10 years since Altantuya Shaariibuu was brutally murdered by two policemen and nearly two years since the Federal Court confirmed their guilt and sentenced them to death.

Sirul fled Malaysia to Australia before the verdict of the Federal Court and has remained there ever since. He is currently being held at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney.