Altantuya’s family seeks to use evidence in criminal trial for civil suit

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh says it will take the family time and resources to provide evidence in the civil claim.

PETALING JAYA: The family members of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu will ask the High Court for approval to use the evidence in a Federal Court ruling that convicted two policemen for her murder for their lawsuit.

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said the family was taking this step as political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, a defendant in the civil suit, wanted them to prove again the “facts already established in the criminal trial”.

“He is basically throwing a spanner in the works and putting us to strict proof,” he told FMT.

Ramkarpal said it would take the family time and resources to provide evidence in the civil claim.

“We will have to recall witnesses who testified in the criminal trial to give evidence again,” he said.

Ramkarpal added that the application under Order 14A of the High Court Rules would be made next week for the court to determine whether evidence in a criminal trial could be used in a civil proceeding.

Apart from Razak, Altantuya’s father Shaariibuu Setev, his wife Altantsetseg Sanjaa and two grandchildren, have named Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri, and the government as defendants.

The family alleges there was conspiracy in Altantuya’s murder and is seeking RM100 million in damages, including dependency claims.

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

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. The Federal Court later issued a warrant of arrest for him.

Razak, who was charged with abetment in the murder, was freed at the end of the prosecution’s case.

The court ruled 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.

Their lawyers have discharged themselves in the civil claim while Razak has engaged a counsel to contest the suit.

 

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