Two M'sian policemen to hang for murder of Mongolian model
Malaysia’s highest court on Tuesday (Jan 13) upheld death sentences for two police officers convicted of the 2006 murder of a Mongolian national.
Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar had been convicted of killing 28-year-old Altantuya Shaariibuu, a model and interpreter.
The remains of Ms Altantuya, who was involved in negotiations for the submarines, were found in a jungle clearing near Kuala Lumpur after apparently being shot and her corpse blown up with military-grade explosives.
She was allegedly a lover of Mr Abdul Razak Baginda – the man in charge of purchasing the submarines and a close associate of current Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was defence minister at the time of the deal.
Both accused deny killing Ms Altantuya.
Sirul has previously alleged he was being “sacrificed” to protect others.
The Federal Court panel said on Tuesday the two officers had both separately led investigators to the site where the body was found, which "strengthened the case" against them.
A shocked-looking Azilah was led out of the courtroom on Tuesday after the decision.
But Sirul’s defence team told the court they did not know his whereabouts. An arrest warrant was issued.
They were convicted in 2009 and sentenced to hang, but released when an appeals court overturned the conviction in 2013 after raising questions about how their trial was conducted, prompting the prosecution’s appeal to the Federal Court.
The case revolves around allegations that French submarine maker DCNS paid commission of more than 114 million euros (S$179 million) to a shell company linked to Mr Abdul Razak, who is not related to the premier.
Malaysia’s opposition claims these were kickbacks.
No motive for Ms Altantuya’s death has ever been revealed.