Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Murder of Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa (
Mongolian language: Шаарийбуугийн Алтантуяа; sometimes also Altantuya Shaariibuu; 1978 – October 18, 2006), a Mongolian national, was a murder victim who was either murdered by C-4 explosives or was somehow killed first and her remains destroyed with C-4 on October 18, 2006 in a deserted area in Shah Alam, Malaysia nearKuala Lumpur. The Shah Alam High Court meted out the death sentence to two of the accused on 9 April 2009, wrapping up the 159 day trial.

Contents
[hide]
1 Early life
2 Relations to Razak Baginda
3 Murder
4 Trial
5 Acquittal of Razak Baginda
6 Trial Continues
7 Verdict
8 Controversy
8.1 Statutory Declaration by Raja Petra
8.2 Statutory declaration by P. Balasubramaniam
8.3 Retraction and disappearance
8.4 Reappearance and retraction of second statutory declaration
9 See also
10 External links
11 References

[edit]Early life

Altantuyaa was born in 1978. Her parents raised her and her sister while they worked in Russia where Altantuyaa started first grade elementary school. She was reportedly fluent inMongolian, Russian, Chinese, English, and some French.[1].

Altantuyaa moved back to Mongolia in 1990 and a few years later, married a Mongolian techno singer, Maadai. They had a child in 1996 but the marriage ended in divorce and the child went to live with Altantuyaa's parents.

Despite training as a teacher, Altantuyaa briefly moved to France where she attended modeling school before returning to Mongolia.

Altantuyaa remarried and had another child in 2003 but the second marriage also ended in divorce. The second child also lives with Altantuyaa's parents.[2] Her mother said she has never been a model.[3].

[edit]Relations to Razak Baginda

She was allegedly introduced to Abdul Razak Baginda, a defense analyst from the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre think-tank, at an international diamond convention in Hong Kong by Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, and had a relationship with him.[4] She accompanied Abdul Razak to Paris where she worked as translator during his negotiations to purchase submarines from France for the Malaysian government.[5] The two quickly became romantically involved. [6]. She reportedly became his mistress in Paris in 2005.

According to reports by the French newspaper Liberation, Altantuya found out that one of the parties involved in negotiations, a Spanish company Armaris, had paid out the commissions of 114 million euros for the deal (reportedly one billion euros or RM4.7 billion for the purchase of three submarines). The commission was credited into the accounts of a company controlled by Razak, Perimekar. Subsequently, Altantuya, accompanied by her cousin, went to Kuala Lumpur to ask for the portion of the commission due to her (allegedly US$500,000).[7]

[edit]Murder

When it was realized she was missing on 19 October 2006, her cousin lodged a police report and sought help from the Mongolian embassy in Bangkok.

The Malaysian police found fragments of bone, later verified as hers, in forested land near the Subang Dam in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam. Police investigation of her remains revealed that she was shot twice before
C-4 explosives were used on her remains, although there has been later suggestion that the C-4 explosives may have killed her. When her remains were found their identity could only be confirmed with DNA testing. The provenance of the C-4 remains unclear.[8]

Abdul Razak and three members of the police force were arrested during the murder investigation. The two murder suspects have been named as Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 30 and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 35. They had been members of the elite Unit Tindakan Khas (the Malaysian Police Special Action Force or counter-terrorism unit) and were both assigned to the office of the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, albeit being their direct bodyguards, who was also the Defence Minister at the time of the murder. Abdul Razak has been charged with abetment in the murder.[9]

[edit]Trial

According to court testimony by Altantuya's cousin Burmaa Oyunchimeg, Altantuya had shown Burmaa a photograph of 3 persons taking a meal together: Altantuyaa, Razak Baginda, and a government official. When questioned by the lawyer of the victim's family, Karpal Singh, Burmaa identified the official as then Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.[10]HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Shaariibuugiin_Altantuyaa" \l "cite_note-10"[11]

On 22 July 2008 Karpal Singh, who also holds a watching brief for the victim's family, filed a notice of motion to call 4 new witnesses, including Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, to testify in the trial, as well as attempted to sought to recall private detective P. Balasubramaniam, the first prosecution witness in the trial, for further examination.[12] According to Karpal, Najib's testimony would be able to introduce fresh evidence to the case, and his requests were justifiable as per Section 425 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) which allows a court to "summon or recall any person as a witness in a trial", as well as "summon or recall any such person if his evidence appears to the court to be essential to the just decision of the case."[13] On 23 July 2008 the petition notice was rejected by the High Court. High Court judge Mohd Zaki stated that "only the parties involved, namely the prosecution and the defense" had a right to submit the petition.[14]HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Shaariibuugiin_Altantuyaa" \l "cite_note-14"[15]

[edit]Acquittal of Razak Baginda

On 31 October 2008 the High Court acquitted Abdul Razak Baginda of abetment in the murder of Altantuya, with the prosecution saying they would appeal the acquittal. [16]HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Shaariibuugiin_Altantuyaa" \l "cite_note-16"[17]To date, the appeal has yet to transpire. [18]

[edit]Trial Continues

Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar were ordered to enter their defence and testify under oath. On 10 November 2008 it was announced that the murder trial has been postponed to January 2009 in order to allow the defence more time to prepare and gather witnesses. The witnesses sought included Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin and private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, who was unlocatable at that time.[19]

The request by the defence counsel for Sirul Azhar and Azilah to get statements from all prosecution witnesses was rejected with the reason given that "witness statements recorded under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code is privileged". This would have included the witness statement of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's former aide-de-camp DSP Musa Safri, which would have been used to rebut Abdul Razak's affidavit. [20]

On 3 February, 2009 Sirul Azhar pleaded with the court to not pass the death sentence on him, as he was like "a black sheep that has to be sacrificed" to protect unnamed people who have never been brought to court or faced questioning. "I have no reason to cause hurt, what's more to take the life of the victim in such a cruel manner .... I appeal to the court, which has the powers to determine if I live or die, not to sentence me so as to fulfil others' plans for me."[21]

[edit]Verdict

On the 9 April 2009, High Court Judge Zaki Yasin ruled that Sirul Azhar and Azilah statements were unbelievable as both of the accused only blamed each other. [22]. Both policemen were sentenced to death for the murder of Altantuya. Wrapping up the 159 day trial, Zaki said both of them failed to raise any reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case. [23] However, their lawyers will lodge an appeal. Both policemen showed no emotion upon hearing their hanging to death sentence. Their family members accept the court's decision and denied any political elements in the verdict. [24]

Shariibuu Setev's lawyers have applied for a review the Attorney-General's decision not to appeal Abdul Razak Baginda’s acquittal in the murder of Shariibuu’s daughter Altantuya.[25] The application was set to be heard at a High Court on July 8, 2009.[26]. Dr Shariibuu later withdrew the application but said he would still proceed with the claim against Abdul Razak, Azilah, Sirul Azhar and Government of Malaysia for damages over Altantuya's death. [27]

[edit]Controversy

[edit]Statutory Declaration by Raja Petra

In a statutory declaration in his sedition trial in June 2008, Raja Petra alleged Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (the wife of Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) of being one of three individuals who were present at the crime scene when Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered on 19 October 2006[28]. He wrote that Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, and Acting Colonel Aziz Buyong and his wife, Norhayati, Rosmah’s aide-de-camp, were present at the scene of the murder and that Aziz Buyong was the individual who placed C4 plastic explosive on Altantuya’s body and blew it up.[29] Dr Shaariibuu Setev, the father of Altantuya Shaariibuu, has asked the police to conduct a thorough investigation into an allegation by Raja Petra saying the police should look seriously into the allegations as it might provide them with fresh evidence in their case.[30]

In retaliation, the two people named in Raja Petra’s statutory declaration on 18 June 2008, Lt-Col Aziz Buyong and his wife Lt-Col Norhayati Hassan, as having been present at the murder scene of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu are suing Raja Petra for defamation. Aziz is seeking an apology from Raja Petra to be published in certain websites and newspapers, the removal of the statutory declaration from his blog and damages of RM1 million.[31] Raja Petra’s counsel, J. Chandra, later insinuated that the article titled ‘Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell’ on April 25 under Raja Petra’s byline was posted without his consent or knowledge. [32]

Raja Petra later distanced himself from the statutory declaration in a television interview, saying its accusations linking Najib and Rosmah to the murder were repeating information passed onto him by opposition figures, rather than information he knew to be true himself. He stated that he did not genuinely believe that Rosmah was at the murder scene.[33] The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement alleged that the interview had been heavily edited and spin doctored in favour of Prime Minister Najib Razak just in time for the upcoming Sarawak state elections.[34]HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Shaariibuugiin_Altantuyaa" \l "cite_note-34"[35]

[edit]Statutory declaration by P. Balasubramaniam

A second statutory declaration was filed on 1 July 2008 by Abdul Razak Baginda's private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, disclosing then deputy Prime Minister Najib's links and Altantuya. Bala said the police omitted information about the relationship between Najib and Altantuya during their investigation.[36] In the statutory declaration Abdul Razak had told Balasubramaniam that the deputy prime minister had a sexual relationship with Altantuya and that the trio had dined together in Paris. Detailed conversations in a statutory declaration revealed which Abdul Razak was in effect inherited Altantuya as a lover from Najib, who passed her on because he didn’t want to be harassed as deputy prime minister. Among other lurid details, Balasubramaniam described text messages between Najib and Abdul Razak in which the latter was asking for help to avoid arrest,[37] implying Najib personally interfered with the murder investigation. [38] In making his statutory declaration, Balasubramaniam mentioned that a man in a blue Proton Saga happened to be driving pass the home of defence analyst Abdul Razak Baginda at that time of the day before Altantuya was reported missing on Oct 19, 2006 and revealed that the man was Nasir Safar, the special advisor to the Najib Razak.

Former deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the case.

[edit]Retraction and disappearance

The following day P. Balasubramaniam made a retraction of the statutory declaration he made on 1 July 2008 in a second statutory declaration and its replacement with one that erased all traces of allegations with references to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Altantuya Shaariibuu's murder. There were accusations that this new statutory declaration could have been due to intimidation or inducement, and was done not on his own free will. Bala's first lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu said he was not able to get in touch with Bala despite repeated phone calls to Bala's cell phone[39] The Malaysian police said on Sunday 6 July that they have asked Interpol to help find the private investigator who has been reported. missing since making explosive claims linking the deputy premier to a murder. Bala's nephew has filed a missing person's report, saying the investigator and his family had disappeared. [40] It was discovered on July 10 that Balasubramaniam's house in Taman Pelangi here has been broken into but police have yet to ascertain whether anything was stolen.[41] Balasubramaniam is said to have taken refuge in a neighbouring country with his wife and children.[41]

[edit]Reappearance and retraction of second statutory declaration

Further claims were made by Balasubramaniam saying that he rescinded his original statutory declaration linking Datuk Seri Najib Razak to a murdered Mongolian model after his family was threatened within a day of his revealing his first statutory declaration in July 2008. He also claimed that he signed the second statutory declaration without even reading it, claiming he was threatened.[42] Bala was also quoted that a member of Najib’s family, which was revealed to be Najib's younger brother Nazim Razak teaming up with Deepak Jaikishan, a businessman with connections to the Najib Razak's family, made Bala withdraw his first statutory declaration[43] [44]HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Shaariibuugiin_Altantuyaa" \l "cite_note-44"[45] and offered him RM5 million to do so, but that his first declaration was true.[46] Balasubramaniam has declined to meet the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in Singapore in order to give his testimony about allegations surrounding the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu as he has made his personal security a prerequisite for his testimonyThe MACC also wanted to classify all correspondences between Balasubramaniam and their organisation as ‘secrets’ under the Official Secrets Act, which according to Bala's lawyer there was a disagreement to this demand.[47]

[edit]See also
Malaysian Military Scandals
Scorpene
U;Nee

[edit]External links

News Coverage
"Brutal Murder of a Mongolian Beauty", The Straits Times, Singapore
"Who was Altantuya Shaariibuu?", Asia Sentinel

[edit]References
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^ "Altantuya married twice, had two kids". TheStar. 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
^ Chua, Eddie (2006-11-16). "Altantuya was never a fashion model but was aspiring to be, says mum". The Star, Malaysia. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
^ "Acquittal in Malaysia murder saga". BBC News. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
^ "Who was Altantuya Shaariibuu?". John Berthelsen (Asia Sentinel). 2007-12-05. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
^ "The Altantuya Shaaribuu Case: How and why she was killed". The Nation. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
^ "Altantuya allegations flare up again for Najib". Malaysian Insider. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
^ "PI points finger at Malaysia No. 2 leader in new twist to Mongolian's murder".International Herald Tribune (International Herald Tribune). 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
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^ Lim Kit Siang » Blog Archive » RPK’s bombshell allegation on Altantuya murder - Abdullah, Najib, Rosmah cannot remain silent
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^ "Two sue Raja Petra over statutory declaration". The Sun (The Sun). 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
^ RPK sedition trial: Blogger's news portal accessible to others, MCMC official testifies
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^ http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/mclm-backs-rpk-says-tv3-interview-was-spin-doctored/ MCLM backs RPK, says TV3 interview was ‘spin doctored’
^ ‘Raja Petra interview taken out of context’http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/04/15/raja-petra-interview-taken-out-of-context/
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^ a b "Bala’s house broken into". TheStar. 11 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
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^ Kabilan, K (1 July 2010). "French prosecutors to quiz PI Bala over sub deal". Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. "Balasubramian […] reaffirmed that his first statutory declaration was true […] He also claimed that Najib’s brother Nazim offered him RM5 million to retract the first statutory declaration […]"
^ "Bala says no to Singapore rendezvous with MACC". Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 2010-02-12.