Azilah led police to location of Altantuya's murder, court told

23 Jun 2014 / 20:42 H.

    PUTRAJAYA: Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri who was acquitted on a charge of murdering Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu was the one who brought the police to the crime scene at a jungle in Puncak Alam, the Federal Court heard today.
    Deputy Solicitor-General II Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah said Azilah also led to the discovery of the deceased's bones before Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar arrived at the crime scene with another police team.
    "The police only knew a general location and not specific location of the place. It is impossible for the police to locate the place which was on the top of a hill in the jungle...the spot could not be easily located, unless they had information," he submitted at the hearing of the prosecution's appeal against the acquittal of the two policemen.
    Tun Abdul Majid also said that based on the evidence by a policeman during the trial at the High Court, the witness had said that when reaching the jungle, Azilah had told him that this was the place and showed the incident where Altantuya was shot and explosives were used on her.
    "At the crime scene, the police found human remains, subsequently proven to be that of the deceased," he argued before a five-member panel led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.
    The other judges were Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Federal Court judges Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar and Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop.
    The Court of Appeal had on Aug 23, last year, freed Azilah, 37, and Sirul Azhar, 42, on the murder charge after unanimously allowing their appeals, hence, overturning their conviction and death sentence imposed by the Shah Alam High Court in 2009, which found them guilty of murdering Altantuya, 28.
    They were charged with murdering the woman at Mukim Bukit Raja in Shah Alam between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am, the following day in 2006.
    The Court of Appeal in its judgment held that circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution was insufficient to sustain the finding of the duo's guilt and their guilt had not been satisfactorily proven, "thus, the court was constrained to give them the benefit of the doubt".
    The prosecution filed its petition of appeal on Jan 3, this year, listing six reasons why the three-member Court of Appeal bench was wrong in law and facts to allow the two policemen to escape the gallows.
    Former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 50, who was initially charged with abetting Azilah and Sirul Azhar, was acquitted by the High Court on Oct 31, 2008 after it (the high court) held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against him.
    Tun Abdul Majid submitted that the Court of Appeal had erred in law when rejecting the evidence under Section 27 of the Evidence Act 1950 on the discovery of jewelleries belonging to Altantuya in Sirul Azhar's jacket, by relying on the sequence of events which the court claimed showed contradictions.
    "Whatever the sequence of events, the fact remained that some jewelleries proved as belonging to the deceased, were found in the second respondent's (Sirul Azhar) jacket at his house in Kota Damansara," he said, adding that there was no denial from Sirul Azhar that the jacket belonged to him.
    He said the DNA proven to belong to Altantuya was found inside the jacket, and noted how the items were found in Sirul Azhar's possession.
    Tun Abdul Majid also argued that there was no evidence that Sirul Azhar was framed as the prosecution had called all relevant witnesses during the trial. On the issue of a pair of slippers found in Sirul Azhar's car, he said the slippers did not belong to him and they were also not his size.
    "There is no evidence to show how the slippers were in the car, but there was blood found on them...had dried up. So, how the blood was found on the slippers? It must be from the scene," said Tun Abdul Majid.
    On another point, he said that according to the telco database, Azilah was at the crime scene in Puncak Alam, at the material time of the incident. He noted that Azilah could never have been at Wangsa Maju or Taman Melati, or Batu Caves, not even in Jalan Duta before proceeding to Bukit Aman at the material time as he had alleged in his alibi.
    Furthermore, he submitted that Azilah had also failed to adduce any witness for his alibi when called for defence at the end of the prosecution's case.
    Asked by Arifin how the telco database led to a finding that at the time, Azilah was at the crime scene, Tun Abdul Majid replied, a particular telephone broadcasting station could detect where a person making a call was located. – Bernama

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