Malaysia

Written judgment: Razak Baginda had no prima facie case to answer

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — The Shah Alam High Court completed the acquittal of ex-political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda by releasing today the written judgment, which states he had no prima facie case to answer in the murder trial of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

He was charged with abetting two Special Action Squad members to commit the crime in 2006. The analyst is a close associate of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Trial judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin stated that Abdul Razak’s handwritten notes found in convicted murderer chief inspector Azilah Hadri’s bag, were consistent with an innocent man asking police assistance to patrol his residence, Bernama Online reported.

Abdul Razak claimed that Altantuya was harassing and threatening him. The notes had on them Abdul Razak’s address together with his father’s — Datuk Abdullah Malim Baginda — name. 

The 70-page judgment added that even if it were to be interpreted that Abdul Razak had “motive” based on the blackmail letters the deceased sent, the note itself cannot be the basis for a conviction without direct or circumstantial evidence.

The judgment has been made available to media.

Mohd Zaki said he had no reason to disagree with Abdul Razak’s affidavit saying ex-lover Altantuya was blackmailing him.

In the January 5, 2007 affidavit Abdul Razak admitted to having relations with the Mongolian whom he met in November 2004. He also claimed Altantuya was demanding money because of the relationship.

The judge said he had perused the whole affidavit and it was corroborated in material particulars by private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, Altantuya’s cousin Burmaa Oyuchimeg, Lance Corporal Rohaniza Roslan and Abdul Razak’s secretary Siti Aishah Mohd.

The murder was committed some time between 10pm on October 19,2006 and 1am the following day at a clearing in Shah Alam’s Mukim Bukit Raja.

While Abdul Razak had been acquitted his co-accused — Azilah and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar — had been found guilty. 

Mohd Zaki said both guilty men had only the defence of denial and blaming the other for the crime.

Azilah had no alibi for his claim that he was somewhere in Kuala Lumpur’s Wangsa Maju when the incident occurred.

He also claims he had handed Altantuya to Sirul Azhar who was to have sent her back to Hotel Malaya.

Sirul too claims in his unsworn statement that he was not at the crime scene, but at Sri Hartamas’ Devi’s Corner restaurant.

He denies that Azilah passed Altantuya to him for transportation back to her hotel.

Both policemen were convicted for failing to raise any reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case, Mohd Zaki said.

This Friday, the Court of Appeal will decide a date to hear the appeal by both men against their death sentences.

The case has stalled the last two years while waiting for Mohd Zaki’s written judgment.

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