KUALA LUMPUR: Sirul Azhar Umar, a former bodyguard who was sentenced to death in 2015 for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, could be deported from Australia where he is currently in detention as his appeal for political asylum in Australia has been rejected.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) yesterday reported that the court had rejected Sirul’s initial claim of a political crime, 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, reported ABC.
It found no suggestion “that a state-ordered assassination would amount to a political crime”.
A former bodyguard to Malaysia’s ex-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Sirul was sentenced to death in Malaysia in 2015 along with his colleague, Azilah Hadri for the murder of Altantuya.
They were found to have shot Ms Altantuya several times in the head in a patch of jungle outside Kuala Lumpur in 2006.
They were then said to have blown up her body with military grade explosives.
Azilah is in jail, but Sirul, a former police corporal, has claimed innocence, saying he had been ordered by his superiors to carry out the killing.
Sirul has been in Sydney’s Villawood detention centre for more than four years after he fled to Australia in 2014 while on bail.
It is Australian policy not to deport anyone facing the death penalty Altantuya had worked as a translator on a US$1 billion Malaysian deal to buy French submarines, which was embroiled in allegations of bribery and kickbacks. — Bernama