PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak has rubbished fresh claims by one of the convicted killers of Altantuya Shaariibuu that the former prime minister had ordered him to carry out the brutal murder of the Mongolian woman in 2006.
This followed Azilah Hadri’s allegation from behind bars that he and Sirul Azhar Umar – who has since fled to Australia after they were sentenced to death – had received a “shoot to kill” order.
“This is a complete fabrication by a desperate person seeking to escape the gallows,” Najib told FMT in an immediate reaction to Malaysiakini’s report on Azilah’s claims, contained in an application to review the Federal Court’s decision in 2015 which found them guilty of the murder.
“Why did this information not come out earlier, and only now, more than a decade after her death and only after 19 months PH has been in power? ” asked Najib.
Azilah’s lawyer not involved
When contacted, Azilah’s lawyer Hazman Ahmad told FMT that he had no role in the preparation of the statutory declaration cited by Malaysiakini, adding that they last met “two or three years ago”.
Azilah and Sirul were part of the police’s Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK) when they were arrested for the murder of Altantuya, a Mongolian who had a relationship with Abdul Razak Baginda.
The case has been linked to the 2002 purchase of two French-built Scorpene-class submarines and alleged kickbacks by Razak, who was an aide to Najib, the defence minister at the time.
Altantuya’s murder trial had heard that she was killed in a forest near Shah Alam in late 2006 and her body blown up with explosives.
Najib has repeatedly rejected allegations of his involvement in the crime.
Razak was charged with abetting the duo but was later acquitted without his defence being called.
Sirul meanwhile has been held at an Australian immigration detention centre in Sydney for the past three years.
Najib described the latest allegations against him as the work of a “desperate man”, adding that it serves the Pakatan Harapan’s efforts to “divert public attention from its failures”.
“Anyone can do a SD especially if he’s already on death row,” said Najib.
“I believe this is a deal struck between the Harapan (PH) government and Azilah, with the latter’s death sentence being commuted or delayed in return.
“This is an attempt to distract attention and to hit out at me,” he said.