Well, that’s the entire story. Has it provided all the answers to the questions on everyone’s mind? Probably not. But what it does do is show how things can go horribly wrong when you get others to do your dirty work.
Azilah has accused Najib Razak of ordering him to eliminate Altantuya, and to avoid ambiguity, he says Najib made a cut-throat gesture to emphasise what he meant.
The ‘Sumpah Laknat’
Najib says he did no such thing and to make his point, he put his hand on his heart in a mosque before the Almighty (and a perplexed and bewildered audience of homo sapiens in their Friday best), whilst uttering the following oath:
“In the name of Allah, I hereby pledge and swear that from reaching the age of adulthood until this very second, I have never given an order to any individual to kill a Mongolian woman by the name of Altantuya Shaariibuu. More so, I have not even met nor have known her.
“If I am lying, may Allah condemn me, and if I am telling the truth, may those that have slandered me and have not repented be condemned by Allah on this Earth and in the hereafter” Najib makes ‘sumpah laknat’
The difference is Azilah (in his statutory declaration), made an affirmation, in accordance with the law (of mankind), that he was telling the truth, knowing he would be faced with penal retribution (on this planet), if it is subsequently discovered he hadn’t been.
But, from the pledge/oath/swearing Najib performed, it seems he wasn’t quite sure of himself. “If I am lying” and “if I am telling the truth”? It’s either one or the other, not both. So, which one is it?
If, for one moment, we assume Najib is telling the truth, then according to Najib, Azilah will be condemned in this life and in the next. (Azilah has already been condemned to death in this life so it can’t really get any worse).
If Najib is lying, then, rather conveniently, he claims only the Almighty will be capable of handing out the appropriate punishment. Fewer celestial virgins maybe?
So, at this point in time, it appears to be Najib’s word against Azilah’s.
That would certainly be the case if there were not, rather inconveniently for some, a host of other persons of interest whose revelations could possibly swing the pendulum in favour of the truth instead, bearing in mind we don’t know what that is at the moment.
Many of these personalities had not been identified at the time of the trial simply because their identities emerged only later. The intrigue continues.
The Federal Court Motion for Review
Azilah’s latest statutory declaration (SD3), cannot be ignored. It makes some very serious allegations. It is also now a supportive document in the records of the Registry of the Federal Court. It will form the substratum of Azilah’s application to set aside his conviction and sentence.
This SD3 has to be responded to. Answers have to be given by the person(s) named by Azilah as having instructed him to terminate a ‘foreign spy’.
The Federal Court has to hear Azilah’s application. They cannot refuse to. That is their job.
The party responding is the Attorney General. His Chambers will have to decide whether to oppose the application or not. If the AG decides not to oppose the application, this will mean he feels there are merits in what Azilah has sworn to and therefore his conviction is unsafe.
The AG may also feel that there are other parties answerable and that these parties would have to be charged alongside Azilah and Sirul in a potential re-trial.
If the AG does intend to oppose Azilah’s application, then it would be advisable for Azilah’s lawyers to begin shoring up his case. He needs his allegations corroborated. In other words, he needs someone else to support what he is alleging.
The best person would be Sirul. After all, he has appeared before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in Sydney and had taken an oath to tell the truth before it. This is a matter of record.
Sirul swore to the Tribunal that the “Malaysian Government’ had instructed him to eliminate a ‘Russian spy’.
This is evidence which Azilah is entitled to use in support of his application. It can be presented to the Federal Court in the form of the written reported decision of the AAT, delivered on the 18 February 2019 by the Deputy President. The Federal Court is obliged to take cognisance of this decision.
Najib to intervene in the Federal Court proceedings
Meanwhile, Najib’s erstwhile counsel, Shafee Abdullah has told the press that his client will intervene in these proceedings because “You cannot make condemnation (allegations) against someone and the court can’t make a decision against anyone who is condemned in the proceedings without the person being in court to be given the right to answer”.
Najib looking to intervene in Azilah’s review application
Shafee is the same ‘fiated’ DPP who represented the AG in Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy II trial and succeeded in securing a conviction at the Court of Appeal, affirmed by the Federal Court.
Once Anwar’s fate had been sealed by judicial decree, this gentleman then proceeded to embark on an extensive road show throughout the country providing lurid details of the accused’s alleged acts ‘against the order of nature’ to his entertainment-deprived (and depraved) audiences.
When this was happening, Anwar was in jail. He couldn’t defend himself against Shafee’s onslaught. Shafee had a blank cheque to say anything he liked with impunity.
This is the same concept (natural justice) which Shafee now insists Najib is entitled to.
And he is right. If only Anwar had been accorded the same privilege.
Anyhow, Shafee feels Azilah’s application is a ‘last minute desperate application” to avoid the gallows and he expects Sirul to follow suit.
‘It’s laughable Najib would order Altantuya’s killing by running a finger across his throat’
“Shafee said he wouldn’t be surprised if another former policeman convicted for Altantuya’s murder, Sirul Azahar, also comes up with a similar tale soon”.
Well, surprise surprise Shafee – Sirul already has – about a year and a half ago. You took your eye off the ball. So now what?
What are Sirul’s lawyers going to do?
Well, the situation is this; Azilah wants his conviction set aside and a re-trial ordered on the basis he was given instructions to kill Altantuya by his superiors. He implies he wouldn’t have done so otherwise. His lawyers have filed an application in the Federal Court specifically for this purpose.
Sirul, has said the same; he was also ordered to assassinate the poor girl as well. He swore to this before the AAT in 2018. His Malaysian lawyers must be well aware of this. They must have still been representing him at that time.
So, are Sirul’s Malaysian lawyers going to file a similar application to the Federal Court to be heard at the same time? There has been no news of this as yet. Apart from being a wonderful idea, two applications of similar nature, supported by exactly the same sworn statements, would most certainly add strength to the merits of each other’s application.
Sirul’s lawyers have not communicated with him since “Last Hari Raya”. That was in June 2019. Not so long ago. Perhaps it’s time to re-connect.
Sirul should have been advised by now what Azilah has done and asked if he would like to jump on the band wagon and file a similar application as well? This would be the best advice any lawyer could give his client in the circumstances. After all, Sirul and his lawyers have been through so much over the past 14 years, an application of this nature would be a walk in the park, comparatively speaking. It looks as if there may finally be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
Perhaps Sirul’s lawyers have already done this and are busily preparing the necessary papers. Perhaps the altruistic ‘independent source‘ who contributed towards Sirul’s legal fees in the past, would be more than willing to continue with this funding? Or did those financial contributions cease once Sirul spilled the beans?
We wait in anticipation of developments.