AG objects to ex-cop’s bid to set aside conviction in Altantuya murder

Former policeman Azilah Hadri. (File pic)

PUTRAJAYA: The attorney-general (AG) is objecting to a review application filed by former policeman Azilah Hadri seeking that his conviction for the murder of Mongolian citizen Altantuya Shaariibuu be set aside.

Azilah’s lawyer J Kuldeep Kumar said deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Azmi Mashud conveyed the AG’s opposition to Federal Court deputy registrar Azniza Mohd Ali during case management here today.

“We have placed our objection because the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) did not file their affidavit-in-reply to Azilah’s review application by Jan 31,” he told reporters.

He said since the AGC had failed to meet the deadline, it must apply for an extension of time.

Sangeet Kaur Deo, who is appearing for Altantuya’s family, confirmed the AG’s position.

Kuldeep also said he was opposing an affidavit filed by former prime minister Najib Razak to intervene in the review application.

Najib filed the affidavit on Dec 17 and Azilah filed his affidavit-in-reply on Jan 2.

Kuldeep said Najib’s lawyers had written to the court and asked for a second extension up to Feb 17, which was granted.

“I do not know when Najib filed the affidavit-in-reply, but a copy was only served on us today,” he said, adding that Azilah still opposed the ex-prime minister being made a party.

Sarah Abishegam appeared for Najib.

Kuldeep said Azniza would give direction to parties on Thursday.

“As it is, the April 20 date to hear the review application filed under Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules is maintained,” said Kuldeep who was assisted by Athari Bahardin.

Azilah filed the review to set aside his 2015 conviction and order a re-trial in early December.

Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules allows an applicant to review the decision of the apex court to prevent a miscarriage of justice.

Azilah, who was convicted together with former policeman Sirul Azhar Umar, said among others that Abdul Razak Baginda, Altantuya’s former lover who was acquitted of her murder, and senior police officer Musa Safri, were aware of “instructions” from Najib.

Azilah and Sirul were sentenced to death in January 2015, nine years after Altantuya was killed in a forest near Shah Alam and her body blown up with explosives.

A five-member bench chaired by then-chief justice Arifin Zakaria overturned their earlier acquittal by the Court of Appeal.