Altantuya’s son: I had to change my name and was bullied after her death

Altantuya’s son emerging from the witness room to give his testimony.

SHAH ALAM: The eldest son of murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu said he had to change his name due to the negative publicity arising from his mother’s death. He also claimed he was always being picked on at school.

Bayarkhuu Bayarjargal, 21, who had his name changed from Mungunshagai Bayarjargal, told a civil suit hearing at the High Court here today that he was nine years old when Altantuya died.

When asked by counsel Sangeet Kaur Deo, representing Altantuya’s family, on how he felt upon learning about her death, Bayarkhuu said he was shocked and felt very sad.

“I was asking myself why I was so unlucky to lose my mother. I got angrier and felt hurt when I came to know that she was murdered in Malaysia and despised the people responsible for her death.”

He said this at the hearing of the RM100 million suit filed by his family against two former policemen, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda and the Malaysian government.

Bayarkhuu said for the first three years, he spent the summer months living with relatives in the countryside to escape all the talk and gossip about his mother’s murder in 2006.

“It was a very painful and sad period for me growing up. I remember listening to my friends’ parents telling them not to play with me just because my mother had been murdered in Malaysia.”

Bayarkhuu said he was told by his grandmother that his mother had died. As he became older, he got more details through news reports, people around him and via the Internet.

He said his relationship with a girl was also adversely affected when the fact emerged that he was Altantuya’s son.

Asked to describe his mother, Bayarkhuu recalled that she was a loving and adventurous woman who would often take him and others to the movies, picnics and playgrounds.

Sangeet Kaur: Who supported you and your brother’s education and medical expenses after your mother passed away?

Bayarkhuu: My grandfather had to continue to work to pay for our expenses, including the household expenses. My grandmother stayed at home to look after my younger brother.

Sangeet Kaur: Did you work to lessen the financial burden on your grandparents?

Bayarkhuu: Yes, I did some odd jobs occasionally to support them during my school holidays. I also sold things such as CDs and DVDs on the street.

Earlier, a cousin of Altantuya, Namiraa Gerelmaa, 35, had testified that Altantuya was hired by Razak for translation services related to the purchase of two military submarines.

She claimed that Altantuya had told her that Razak had wanted to have a baby with her and that he had introduced Altantuya to his lawyer in Malaysia as his “wife”.

Altantuya’s father Dr Shaariibuu Setev and wife Altantsetseg Sanjaa and their two grandsons – Mungunshagai Bayarjargal and Altanshagai Munkhtulga – filed the suit on June 4, 2007.

However, Altanshagai’s name was later removed as a plaintiff following his death two years ago.

In the statement of claim, the family alleged that Altantuya’s death had caused them mental shock and psychological trauma, entitling them to be compensated with exemplary and aggravated damages.

The hearing before Judge Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera continues tomorrow.