Lawyer: AG interested in reopening Altantuya murder case

Azril Annuar
Setev Shaariibuu reacts during a press conference after meeting Attorney General Tommy Thomas in Putrajaya June 19, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

PUTRAJAYA, June 19 — The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has indicated it will reopen the murder case of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, her father’s lawyer said today.

Ramkarpal Singh, who is representing the late model’s father, Setev Shaariibuu, told a press conference today the meeting between Shaariibuu’s legal team and Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas was a “fruitful one”.

“We are optimistic that the issue of motive, and only motive as to who ordered the murder will proceed and will be investigated further, so that those responsible for the same will be brought to justice,” said Ramkarpal.

“The leads are there to start investigations. I can’t say what they are because too early to do so. But it won’t delay much longer. That was the main message,” he added.

The Bukit Gelugor MP also said he was pleasantly surprised by Thomas, who had already studied the case and was quite up to date regarding what had happened, despite the fact that the murder occurred some 12 years ago in 2006.

He added that the newly minted AG has shown “positive signs” that the new probes will not be delayed.

“No indication with regard to timeframe (for the investigation to start) but the indication was that it won’t be sat upon. It won’t be delayed. It has gone on for 12 years, it is a long outstanding matter... something which will not be delayed.

“That was the indication he put forward,” said Ramkarpal.

He also said it was unnecessary for one of Altantuya’s convicted killers, Sirul Azhar Umar, to be extradited from Australia.

“I keep repeating, Sirul isn’t necessary to be brought back for investigations to commence on the motive behind the murder.

“We pressed that on the AG as well earlier and he also agreed that that is the case because there are other possible leads locally, in Malaysia, which can spark those investigation now,” he said.

Ramkarpal also said that due to Thomas’ interest to reopen the case and to investigate the motive behind the murder, a Royal Commission of Inquiry was no longer required.

The inquiry would have been their next step if they failed to get the AGC to begin a new probe.

Shaariibuu, who was also at the press conference, told reporters that he wanted to seek justice for his daughter.

He added that he believes Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whom he will be meeting tomorrow, is the man who can resolve the case and grant his family and late daughter justice.

Former police commandos Sirul and Azilah Hadri were convicted of murdering Altantuya in 2006.

Sirul is currently held at an immigration detention centre in Sydney after he absconded to Australia.

He reportedly claimed recently that he never confessed to the murder and said he would not name the parties who allegedly directed the killing.

In 2009, Sirul and Azilah, formerly with the police’s Special Action Unit (UTK), were found guilty of murdering Altantuya in Mukim Bukit Raja in Klang between 10pm on October 19, 2006 and 1am on October 20, 2006.