SHAH ALAM: A cousin of Altantuya Shaariibuu today told the High Court that she had seen a picture of the murdered Mongolian citizen with Abdul Razak Baginda and former prime minister Najib Razak in Paris.
“I remember I saw a picture of three people, two men and Altantuya. I asked her who they were and she said one was the deputy prime minister and the other was Razak who worked with him (Najib) and they do business together,” Burmaa Oyunchimeg told the court when questioned by lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo during the hearing of a suit brought by Altantuya’s family.
The photograph showing Altantuya, Razak and Najib could not be published as it is still a disputed document.
Altantuya was murdered in 2006 in the jungles in Puncak Alam near Shah Alam, Selangor, with a shot to the head before her body was blown up with explosives.
Two policemen, Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri, who were Najib’s personal bodyguards, were found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder.
Razak Baginda, who was an aide to Najib, the then deputy prime minister, was charged with abetting the duo, but later acquitted without his defence being called.
Altantuya’s father, Shaariibuu Setev, his wife Altantsetseg Sanjaa, and Altantuya’s son Mungunshagai have named Razak, the government, Sirul and Azilah as defendants in the suit.
The family alleges that there was conspiracy in Altantuya’s murder, and is seeking RM100 million in damages including dependency claims.
Burmaa, now a sales executive in the United States, also told the court that Razak and Najib were best of friends.
She said Altantuya told her that although both men have similar names, they were not brothers but “best of friends, business partners and worked together”.
Burmaa, the first witness for the plaintiffs, said she had met Razak together with Altantuya on three occasions from December 2004 to March 2005.
She said she first met him in November or December 2004 at a hotel in Hong Kong.
“At that time , I was living in Hong Kong and she had come from Mongolia to visit me,” she said, adding that Altantuya told her Razak was her friend but admitted later that she was having a relationship.
Burmaa said Altantuya also told her that the Hong Kong trip was for business purposes.
The witness said the second time she met Razak was in Shanghai, China in January 2005, when both she and Altantuya flew in from Hong Kong and met Razak at the airport.
“He paid for her (air) ticket and mine. He paid everything on that trip, accommodation, meals and shopping.
“They stayed together and I stayed in a separate room. It was only a short trip, only two nights,” she added.
Burmaa said the third meeting was in March 2005 in Singapore, adding that Altantuya and Razak had already arrived there before her.
“This was after their trip to Europe. They told me that they had a fun trip in Paris,” she said.
Burmaa said the Singapore meeting was just for “two or three nights” and Razak footed all bills.
She said she last met Razak during the murder trial of Altantuya in 2008.
“He used to contact me in Hong Kong when he could not reach Altantuya in Mongolia. He told me he really cared for her and knew about her disabled son and really wanted to help her financially,” she added.
Burmaa said she last met Altantuya in Hong Kong in August 2006 before the deceased flew to Malaysia to visit Razak to collect money for work that she had done.
“She told me Razak refused to pay her so she was coming to collect her payment,” Burmaa said, adding that Razak had also declined to meet Altantuya.
Burmaa said she then sent Razak a few text messages, asking him to solve her problem but he never replied.
The Federal Court in 2015 upheld the High Court’s conviction of Sirul and Azilah for killing Altantuya.
Sirul fled to Australia before the final verdict while Azilah is on the death row in Sungai Buloh prison.
The motive for Altantuya’s murder was never revealed during the trial.
Lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon, who is representing Razak, will conduct the cross-examination tomorrow before judge Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.