Judge still to file Altantuya judgment
KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — The appeals of the two police officers convicted of murdering Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu has been delayed as the High Court judge has yet to file his grounds for judgment, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Responding to queries from opposition lawmakers, de facto law minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the judgment was currently “in the process of preparation”, and without it, an appeal date cannot be set for the duo.
He added that more time was needed for the judgment to be filed as it involves a large volume of court notes and many exhibits.
“In view of the fact that the judgment is yet to be filed, the appeal record is incomplete.
“As such, an appeal date cannot be set. The Court of Appeal will set the date once the High Court files the judgment,” he said, reading from a written reply prepared for a question raised by Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) last week.
Nazri said the appeal record for the controversial case involved as many as 50 volumes of notes or 4,000 pages, which was filed with the Court of Appeal on May 12 last year.
The Padang Rengas MP was speaking in Parliament during his winding up on debates for the Judges’ Remuneration (Amendment) Bill 2011.
In his question, Karpal had asked the prime minister to explain the reasons behind the delay in the appeals of Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar who were sentenced to death in 2009 for Altantuya’s murder.
The High Court had sentenced Sirul and Azilah to death for murdering Altantuya, 28, in Mukim Bukit Raja near here between 10pm on October 19, 2006 and 1am the following day.
The duo filed their appeals several days after their conviction.
Azilah, 33, and Sirul Azhar, 37, were jointly tried with political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 48, who was charged with abetting them but the latter was acquitted and discharged without his defence being called on October 31, 2008.
The case has been a thorn in the side of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, whose detractors have sought to link to the murder through his relationship with Abdul Razak, a former aide.