We need atonement to free us from this national shame and it can only be achieved by setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to solve the Altantuya murder, says P Ramakrishnan.
Convicted, self-confessed, cold-blooded killers are no longer killers! The Court of Appeal has declared so. Their earlier conviction and their death sentence have been set aside and they have been discharged. They are free. They have not committed any crime as of now. They did not kill Altantuya!
The outcome of the judicial process was rather disconcerting. We are reminded of Charles Dickens observation: “The law is an ass.” Is it what it is?
They can never be charged ever again for the murder of Altantuya. So we, the concerned and caring Malaysians, will never know the truth because minions were charged – not the real culprits who were responsible for the murder.
These minions had no reason or motive to kill but those who hired them to pull the trigger had every reason to commit murder. And they used their money, position and power to blow to smithereens the Mongolian beauty after she had been used and discarded as a scrap of rubbish.
But what happened cannot be a sheer coincidence but unfortunately much has to be said about the investigation and prosecution of the case which left the Court of Appeal with no other choice but to arrive at a decision which they so reluctantly did.
It is very difficult to justify the glaring defects in the prosecution of these killers as cited by the Court of Appeal for their release unless it was deliberately meant to provide an escape route subsequently. That seems to be the inevitable implication!
That perception seems so obvious and so apparent! It lingers on as a stench from a rotting corpse!
Common sense will suggest that some questions had to be raised or posed as a matter of routine following certain replies and disclosure of evidence during the course of the trial. It is so basic. But this was not the case! It did not follow the usual courtroom pattern of attempting to pin down the incriminating evidence to secure a conviction.
But incriminating evidence was wantonly withheld and/or prevented from being submitted. There appeared to be some form of collusion in the entire trial to provide some excuse to abort the conviction later on.
When Sirul, one of the two accused of murder, had admitted in court to the murder of Altantuya and had provided a detailed account of the murder itself in his affidavit, wouldn’t it be natural to ask why he committed the murder; who hired him to kill; who was behind this plot to get rid of this woman; etc? But this wasn’t the case!
When it was revealed in his affidavit that Sirul was offered between RM50,000 to RM100,000 to kill Altantuya, wouldn’t you – at least out of curiosity – want to know who was offering this money? Who was the go-between who set up this hit list? Wouldn’t this line of questioning lead to further relevant information leading nearer to the truth? But this wasn’t the case!
Why wasn’t Musa Safri (the aide-de-camp to the Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak), who recommended Azila and Sirul – the two bodyguards of the DPM – to Razak Baginda, called as a witness? It was he who must have selected these two as the ideal pair to carry out this premeditated murder. On whose orders was he acting? Wouldn’t he have been a crucial witness to the discovery of truth in the murder of Altantuya? Inexplicably, he was not called as a witness to throw light on this sordid affair.
It was alleged that Najib’s special officer, Nasir Safar, was in communication with Sirul and Azilah before Altantuya was taken away from a house. What was his interest in this case? Why wasn’t he on the witness stand?
Altantuya’s cousin Burmaa Oyunchimeg, while on the witness stand, had stated that she had a photograph showing Najib, Baginda and Altantuya together in Paris and wanted to submit this evidence to the court. But the learned judge prevented her from doing so and suggested that it be submitted at a later stage during the trial. But the good judge did not ask this to be submitted subsequently. Unbelievably, the prosecution did not follow up with this new evidence! Why? What does this imply?
The Director-General of Immigration should have been summoned to explain why Altantuya’s immigration records were wiped out. What was the DG’s interest in Atantuya’s records? Why did he want them to be obliterated from the computer? Was he acting on behalf of someone who wanted them to be destroyed? Whom was he protecting?
And above all, why wasn’t the then DPM called as a witness during the trial to shed some light on the ghastly murder episode in which he has been incriminated, fairly or unfairly? Why wasn’t he put on the stand to ferret out the truth in this mystery murder? This is what every thinking Malaysian who means well for this country is asking.
He seems to be so closely associated with this entire affair. People who seem to know more than others such as Deepak Jaikishan and Americk Singh were never called as witnesses to assist the trial. In the case of private investigator Bala, he was not even questioned regarding the involvement of the DPM in spite of his revealing to the police in his statement that Najib was involved with Altantuya rather intimately. Again, it seems, that there was this deliberate attempt to keep Najib’s name out of the picture.
It would appear that Najib’s involvement is more than mere speculation. When all the available evidence is taken in totality, this speculation seems to gain credence.
Altantuya’s father, Setev Shaariibuu, had mentioned how his daughter had told him that she had come to Malaysia to see Najib. “I asked her what was her purpose of traveling to Malaysia. She showed me a picture taken in Paris. Three people were in it — Abdul Razak Baginda, Najib, and Altantuya. She said ‘I have to meet important people’, and pointed to Najib,” Setev had said in April, 2012.
“She told me she had something to decide with Najib. I told her it was not worth it but she went anyway. A lot of witnesses have seen this picture; I was not the only one who saw it.”
Why did Najib’s brother and wife allegedly play such an important role to induce P I Bala to come out with a second Statutory Declaration to renounce his first damning SD and whitewash Najib’s reputation? It appears that there is documentary evidence of all payments made to P I Bala in order to subvert the course of justice. Why wasn’t such evidence pursued during the trial? Why weren’t these two persons so closely aligned to Najib put on the witness stand together with Najib?
There was so much evidence allegedly implicating and incriminating Najib. If this evidence had been pursued honestly in a just manner, Altantuya’s murder would have been solved. Unfortunately this was not the case.
Whatever suspicions Malaysians had with regard to this case had been proven correct by the turn of events. What is at grave stake is the reputation of this nation; the integrity of the judiciary; the ethics of the prosecution and the morality of Najib. All have been tarnished beyond repair.
It is not fair that we should suffer this debasement on account of politics. We need atonement to free us from this national shame. And it can only be achieved by setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to get to the bottom of the truth in Altantuya’s gruesome murder.
We earnestly hope and appeal to the Prime Minister to facilitate this RCI. This is of paramount importance to his own reputation which has to be desperately extricated from the swirling, damaging rumours that have been haunting him for these seven years.
Let’s put Altantuya’s soul to rest and rescue our Prime Minister’s reputation to preserve the dignity of this nation.
Aliran executive committee member
5 September 2013