Photo of Altantuya with 2 men presented in court a fake, says witness

Burmaa Oyunchimeg (Facebook pic)

SHAH ALAM: The High Court heard today that a photograph of two men with the late Altantuya Shaariibuu exhibited in a court document is a fake.

But, Altantuya’s cousin Burmaa Oyunchimeg, said a photograph taken in Paris in 2005 and shown to her by the deceased was different although the same people were in that photograph.

“When I say the two men look exact, it is the two same men in exactly the same position with my cousin Altantuya,” she said when examined by lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo.

However, in the photograph that she saw, all three were smiling, she said.

At the outset of the proceeding today, lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon, who is appearing for political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, told the court that there were erroneous reports about the photograph on social media.

Manjeet said some had equated the fake photograph to the one shown by Altantuya to Burmaa in Mongolia in early 2005.

Yesterday, Burmaa told the court that she had seen a picture of her murdered cousin, Razak and former prime minister Najib Razak together 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 said.

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 was 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, alleging there was conspiracy in Altantuya’s murder, is seeking RM100 million in damages, including dependency claims.

Cross-examined by Manjeet on the fake photograph, Burma said it was the worst photoshopped picture she had ever seen.

“In the photo shown to me by Altantuya, all three are smiling,” she said.

Burmaa said that private investigator Ang Chong Beng, who was engaged by Altantuya to locate Razak, had told her that the deceased had brought along the photo when she (Altantuya) came to Kuala Lumpur in October 2006.

Burmaa said she only came across the fake photo on the internet after she had given evidence in Altantuya’s murder trial in 2008.

She said the woman resembling Altantuya in the fake photo was a stranger to her. “She is not my cousin and I do not know her,” she added.

Burmaa also testified yesterday that she met Razak together with Altantuya on three occasions – in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore – between October 2004 and March 2005.

To a question today, Burmaa said she was absolutely sure how Razak looked.

Manjeet: Why did you have to ask Altantuya who were the men in the photograph?

Burmaa: It was my mistake in the witness statement.

Manjeet: You are lying.

Burmaa: I am under oath.

Manjeet said Burmaa knew who Razak was after meeting him but when shown a photograph by Altantuya she had asked who they (the two men) were.

Burmaa later explained that what she had wanted to say was that she did not recognise the other man (Najib) in the photo.

On another matter, Burmaa said she sent a nasty text message from Hong Kong to private investigator P Balasubramaniam after Altantuya was abducted outside Razak’s home in Damansara on Oct 18, 2006.

She said: “You sick f***s. Listen to me carefully. I am going to call his (Razak’s) wife and report to the (Mongolian) consul to Malaysia. You chicken s**ts in big problem. I’ll do my best I promise.”

She said her angry outburst was because Altantuya had gone missing and that it did not reflect her real nature.

Hearing before Justice Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera continues tomorrow.