Govt still studying ways to extradite Sirul from Australia

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KUALA LUMPUR: There is no room for negotiation with Australia in the extradition of former police commando Sirul Azhar as the Federal Court in Malaysia has already sentenced him to death for the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

“Due to that, the government is still studying the best way to handle the issue,” said Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in a written reply today.

He said the Malaysian government would have to offer an alternative sentence, such as life imprisonment, if they hoped to apply for extradition from nations against the death penalty like Australia.

Zahid also revealed that the government had not yet made a request for Sirul’s extradition.

Zahid, who is also deputy prime minister was responding to a question by Ramkarpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor), who wanted to know if a request had been made as the ministry had said in March 2015 that negotiations would be initiated to extradite Sirul.

“The government has not made the request to the Australian government.

“The extradition request must be reviewed from all angles as it involves bilateral ties with Australia,” said Zahid in the written reply.

Furthermore, he said it involved the laws of another country, and extra caution and tact was required.

In January 2015, the Federal Court sentenced Sirul and former Special Action Unit member Azilah Hadri to death for the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya in 2006. However, by then, Sirul had escaped to Australia.

He was detained on Jan 20, 2015 by Australian immigration after Interpol issued a red notice on him. He is now at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney.

Australia has said that it would not agree to any request from Malaysia to extradite Sirul unless Malaysian authorities guaranteed he would not be executed.