Thursday, March 21

Sirul to be deported from Australia after Court rejects his asylum bid

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Sirul Azhar Umar

KUCHING: Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted of murdering Mongolian Altantuya Sharibuu, will be deported from Australia after a Sydney Court this week rejected his appeal for political asylum, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) .

However, ABC reported that Australia is expected to delay his deportation until after Malaysia abolishes the death penalty.

Sirul has been in Sydney’s Villawood detention centre for more than four years after he fled to Australia in 2014 while on bail.

ABC stated that a Malaysian associate of Sirul’s living in Australia — who does not want to be named — said he took his case for political asylum to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Sydney.

“He wants to be released into the Australian society, released from detention, so that he could go into the Australian society and live, because he said that his crime was a political crime,” he was quoted by ABC as saying.

After a lengthy court process, the tribunal rejected Sirul’s initial claim, and an appeal on Monday, on the grounds it was not a political crime.

“There are serious reasons for considering that the applicant committed in Malaysia a serious non-political crime before entering Australia,” the tribunal ruled.

It found no suggestion “that a state-ordered assassination would amount to a political crime”.

Altantuya, 28, is believed to have been shot dead before her body was blown to bits with explosives at a secondary forest near the Subang Dam in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam in 2006.

In 2009, Sirul and accomplice Azilah Hadri were convicted of murdering Altantuya and were sentenced to death.

The Court of Appeal overturned their sentences in 2013 but upon the prosecution’s appeal, they were upheld by the Federal Court.

Sirul fled to Australia where he was detained by Immigration after Interpol issued a Red Notice on him.