KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 — Over a thousand people watched former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak perform the sumpah laknat over the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, at Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru here today.
Shortly after Friday prayers concluded at 1.15pm, Ustad Ahmad Husam Baderudin called upon the audience to settle down and lower their volume so Najib could begin.
After some commotion, he continued.
The preacher said he already explained the sumpah laknat, or mubahalah, to Najib in Arabic, and said he believed the ex-prime minister to understand its significance.
Clad in a white baju Melayu with black songkok, Najib wore a sombre expression as he told the audience that this was the third time he has sworn the oath concerning Altantuya.
“I must make it clear, the first time was during the 2007 Ijok by-election, and the second was in a small mosque during the 2008 Permatang Pauh by-election.
“However, this oath is the biggest one of them all. Yet I stand firm with the truth, and fear God alone, which led me to do it in the first place,” Najib said.
Commenting on the statutory declaration (SD) by former police Special Actions Unit officer and death row inmate Azilah Hadri being ridiculed by social media users, he said this was the first time a convict has made an SD while in prison.
“The implication is that hundreds of other prisoners might soon follow in his wake. Reading the declaration, it stated I paid him RM300 to kill Altantuya.
“Apparently, some social media users remarked that it would have been better for Azilah to take 1Malaysia People’s Aid money instead,” Najib said.
He also addressed Azilah’s claim that Altantuya was supposedly a Russian spy, adding that if so, it must be “historic”.
“It must be historic if a spy makes a police report, since they hide themselves from being discovered,” Najib said.
This is in reference to the report lodged by the translator against political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda and his hired private investigator, P. Balasubramaniam on October 19, 2006 for harassment and death threats.
Altantuya was subsequently reported as missing by her friend and cousin the following day.
At 2.07pm, Najib began his oath by first reciting the Bismillah and several opening verses from the Quran.
“Today on December 20, 2019, in accordance with the 23rd of Rabiulawal in the year 1441 Hijri, I, Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak swear that I have never hired anyone to kill a Mongolian citizen named Altantuya Shariibuu.
“Indeed, I have never met or known of an individual of that name before. For if I lie, may God strike me and curse me greatly for this sin,” he said.
The oath was followed by murmurs of Amin from attendees, and loud cries of Allahuakbar echoed all around the mosque.
Also present at the oath-taking was Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who was clad in a brown robe and selendang. Their children Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin Najib and Nooryana Najwa Najib were also present.
Najib was also accompanied by former deputy prime minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who wore a white robe and skullcap.
The group then retired for lunch in a private room on the second floor, before departing at 2.38pm.
When approached by the media, Najib declined to comment and would only say that he has expressed all he intended in the mosque.
The ex-prime minister promised to make the oath following Azilah’s SD, which was filed by his lawyer J. Kuldeep Kumar on October 17, part of the Federal Court review application of his murder conviction.
Among other things, Azilah said he was brought to meet Najib in Pekan, where he was expressly told to request for explosives from his unit’s armoury so that it could be used to dispose of Altantuya’s remains.
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