Good chance of reopening Altantuya's murder case (Updated)

PUTRAJAYA: The case involving the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu could be re-opened following the emergence of fresh evidence and re-opening of cold leads, according to lawyer Ramkarpal Singh.

Ramkarpal, who is acting as counsel for Altantuya's father, Setev, described today's meeting with the Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas as "a fruitful exchange".

"The meeting went well where we discussed both civil and criminal cases with great detail.

"The AG was very receptive in hearing our views," he told reporters following the meeting at the Attorney-General's Chambers.

When asked how soon the case could be re-opened, Ramkarpal said he was unable to provide a the time-frame but expressed confidence that the case will no longer be delayed.

The focus of the case, he said was to determine the motive behind the murder of the model 12 years ago, specifically who ordered the killing.

"The status of Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri remains the same and that they are convicted of the murder.

"We did discuss about Sirul's status (in Australia) and measures needed to extradite him.

"However, my stand is that there is no need for Sirul to be brought back due to other promising leads that can be taken into account," he said.

On the possibility of a Royal Commission of Inquiry, Ramkarpal said that would require the Prime Minister to meet the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to get his approval and the advice of the Attorney-General before proceeding further.

In an earlier press conference, Setev said the death of his daughter was like a cancer that had spread through his family and was now hoping that the new Federal Government would be able to find the cure – to get to the truth of her murder.

"I have waited for a long time but now I hope justice will be served," Setev said, adding that he was very sad that his daughter never had the chance to see her children grow up.

He also called on the media to be the voice of justice for Altantuya.

"All this while a 'black book' had been written about the death of my daughter but today I hope a new book will start about her murder, a 'white book'," Setev said while describing how he felt about his daughter's murder.

He also denied receiving any funds from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak but was curious as to why he was being asked such a question.

"I've heard this kind of rumours that Najib already paid money to me but it's not true," Setev said while jesting that the funds seized by the government from Najib should go to his family.

He added that what is most important to his family is to see justice being done.

Altantuya, 28, was shot dead and her body blown up with military-grade plastic explosives outside Kuala Lumpur in October 2006.

Sirul and Azilah were convicted of her murder in 2009 and sentenced to hang. They were later released when an appeals court overturned the conviction in 2013 ruling that the High Court judge had erred.

The Federal Court, however, upheld their death sentences in 2015. Sirul fled the country ahead of that ruling while Azilah is now on death row.