Wednesday, October 20

Duo’s appeal dates in Altantuya murder case vacated

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Altantuya Shaariibuu

PUTRAJAYA: The hearing dates which were earlier set to hear the appeal brought by two former police Special Action Squad commandos sentenced to death for the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu, has been vacated.

The hearing dates – Oct 31 and Nov 1 – were set by Court of Appeal deputy registrar N Kanageswari in July, this year when the matter came up for case management before her.

The Court of Appeal registry, as well as counsel Datuk Hazman Ahmad representing Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and co-counsel Kitson Foong for Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, confirmed that the hearing dates were vacated.

No new dates have been fixed.

Hazman, when contacted, said both the prosecution and defence required more time to study the records of appeal which contained 65 volumes.

Meanwhile, Foong, when contacted said both the prosecution and defence had made the application to adjourn the hearing.

He said another case management date would be fixed.

He said, for Sirul Azhar, the defence would raise at least 26 issues at the appeal.

The Oct 31 and Nov 1 hearing dates were fixed by Kanageswari in July after vacating the previous dates on Aug 27 and Aug 28, when Azilah’s lawyers applied for the adjournment due to the unsuitability of the dates falling right after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Azilah, 34, and Sirul Azhar, 39, were convicted and sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court in 2009 for murdering Altantuya, 28, at Mukim Raja between 9.45pm on Oct 18, 2006 and 9.45pm, the following day.

Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 50, was also charged with abetting the duo but was acquitted by the High Court on Oct 31, 2008, on the basis that there was no prima facie case against him. — Bernama