Extradite Sirul once death penalty is abolished, says Ramkarpal

PETALING JAYA: Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh today called for the Australian government to extradite convicted killer Sirul Azhar Umar once Malaysia abolishes the death penalty.

“Once death penalty is abolished, the Australian government should extradite him back here to serve his sentence,” he told FMT.

Ramkarpal has been pushing for Sirul to be brought back to complete investigations into who ordered the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, but the Australian government does not want to do so as he will face the death penalty here.

Sirul was one of two men convicted of murdering the Mongolian woman, who was shot dead before her body was blown to bits with explosives in 2006.

Ramkarpal said it would give an opportunity for Sirul to return home without the fear of being on the death row. “He can come back to serve imprisonment,” he added.

Yesterday, law minister Liew Vui Keong said the Cabinet had decided to abolish the death penalty and a bill to this effect would be tabled at the next Dewan Rakyat sitting.

Ramkarpal, who is also Bukit Gelugor MP, said abolishing the death penalty was a good move.

“It should apply not only to those who are facing capital punishment but also those on death row.”

He said he had represented clients who were sometimes sent to death row.

“You can never be sure of the conviction of death penalty, if it is 100% correct,” he added. “Whether the man should be sent (to be hanged). It is someone’s life.”

In Malaysia, the death penalty, carried out by hanging, is mandatory for crimes such as murder, drug trafficking and possession of firearms.

Between 2007 and 2017, 35 individuals were hanged while another 1,200 are on death row.