Brutal murder of a Mongolian beauty
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Verdict on Altantuya case on Apr 9, but will it end there …
By Wong Choon Mei | suarakeAdilan | 17 Feb 2009
Who really killed Altantuya Shaariibuu?According to the Shah Alam High Court, we will know on April 9.
On that day, it will deliver its verdict on whether two elite cops Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar are guilty of shooting her and then bombing her body to pieces to prevent identification.
But will the long-running case end there? Unlikely, for the story of the hauntingly beautiful 28-year old Mongolian translator - alleged to have been Deputy Premier Najib Abdul Razak’s mistress - is likely to live on in folklore in both the physical and cyber worlds.
And it is easy to understand why. Regardless of how the court decides - even if it metes out its worst sentence of death to the pair - justice will still not be seen to have been served.
Obviously, there are still too many unanswered questions.
That they remain unanswered until even now, more than two years after the murder, is already a huge blot on the country’s ruling Umno-BN party and the institutions it has failed to uphold.
Regrettably, the diabolical intertwining between the country’s legal, judiciary and political systems is not only countenanced but actively fostered.
Even RPK may be silenced
In wrapping up the government’s case today, deputy public prosecutor Manoj Kurup shot down the defence statements of both Azilah and Sirul as being “littered with inconsistencies, discrepancies and improbabilities”.
“Not only have the two sets of defences not raised any reasonable doubts on the prosecution’s case with respect to the guilt of each accused, it is clear that each accused is trying to blame the other for the murder.
“The several strands of circumstantial evidence that the prosecution has painstakingly proved have remained unrebutted, unexplained and unanswered by both accused persons in this case. The combined strength of those strands of evidence, when twisted together, has formed two ropes, strong enough to hang each accused person for the murder of Altantuya.”
Yet the government has been content to acquit political analyst Razak Baginda, a close associate of Najib’s, who was charged for abetting the two cops in the murder.
Neither has the government’s prosecutors seen fit to call on Musa Safri, Najib’s aide-de-camp to testify or to reveal his statement made to the police. Musa’s importance in the case can be gauged by the revelation that he was the one who introduced Razak to Azilah.
Meanwhile, an emotional Sirul has asked for a mistrial. His lawyers argued that the prosecution failed in producing a “material witness” - Musa.
Azilah, Sirul’s colleague from the Special Action Unit tasked to look after Najib’s security, is sticking to his claim that he was never at the scene of the murder and had an alibi.
Will the real story ever unfold, and more importantly, will all guilty parties - including those who indirectly participated in her gruesome killing, even if they did not slay her with their own hands - ever be brought to justice?
If anyone has more details to offer, it would be Raja Petra Kamaruddin. But even RPK - the straight-talking controversial blogger - may finally be silenced.
Come next Monday, the nation’s most beloved blogger may have to go back to the Kamunting Detention Centre, where he can expect to be locked up for at least two years under the country’s infamous Internal Security Act.