On the 23 December 2019, just after Azilah released his explosive statutory declaration (SD3), the Inspector General of Police (IGP) said that investigations into Altantuya’s murder would be re-opened and ‘investigators have identified several individuals who will be called in to have their statements recorded’.
IGP: Police to interview several witnesses following ex-commando’s shocking SD on Altantuya murder
We presume this exercise is currently being undertaken to discover whether Azilah is telling the truth or not. If he is, then it is going to be a challenge for the Attorney General to oppose Azilah’s application to have his conviction and sentence set aside which has been scheduled for hearing on the 20 April 2020.
The Most Significant Witness Available
This has to be Sirul. He is not going anywhere because the Australians have him comfortably locked up in the Villawood detention Centre in Sydney.
There can be no doubt Sirul is top on the list of ‘persons of interest’. This time we assume the police will do things properly and seek the assistance of the Australian Federal Police in permitting a team from the Bukit Aman Police Head Quarters in Kuala Lumpur to fly to Sydney for the purpose of recording a statement from Sirul.
Provisions are available to achieve this without having to resort to clandestine, under the radar attempts to get to Sirul and to shut him up, as was done in the past.
There is something called the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) available to ensure the process is done above board and in accordance with the law. The MLAT is basically an existing agreement between Malaysia and Australia for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information in an effort to enforce public or criminal laws.
This Treaty has been in existence since 2005.
We can anticipate that a posse of Police Officers from the Malaysian Police Headquarters will, this time, legitimately head over to Sydney once all the paper work has been completed and signed off on. Maybe they are already there.
If they do, it will be interesting to see what the police come back with this time. Sirul has already committed himself to explaining why he shot Altantuya. He has already expressed, in no uncertain terms, who was behind the orders to kill when he was first locked up in Villawood. He has sworn on oath to this before the Australian Administrative Tribunal in 2018. He has also given a cautioned statement to the police in 2006, and, at the end of his trial, stated he was merely a scapegoat for those not in court. All these expressions are similar in nature, if not exactly the same.
He can’t change his story now, but what he can do, additionally, is to let the police know who tried to bribe him to specifically exonerate Najib and under what promises, made by who, did he release those tapes in early 2016?
It must have dawned on Sirul that all those guarantees made before Najib’s government was defeated in May 2018, are worth nothing now. Gone are the queues of gift-bearers lining up at the gates of Villawood seeking an audience with the ‘man who must be silent’. Their cover has now been blown. The police know who they are.
The Antics of the Desperate, (before May 2018)
As has been said in some of the previous articles, Sirul had been elevated to Superstar status by the sheer number of ‘adoring fans’ flocking to Villawood with outrageous offers in return for his cooperation and his silence.
Malaysian Special Branch officers were also part of the entourage flown to Sydney to meet with Sirul under the instructions of Khalid Abu Bakar (photo), Najib’s favourite IGP at that time.
It was more than obvious during Khalid’s tenure that he had been specifically elevated to the position of top cop for the sole purpose of protecting Najib’s interests and of course to spread both government propaganda and police intimidation via his infamous twitter messages. These were aimed at bringing the ‘unruly’ general public to heel by daily misconceived and baseless threats of police action against all and sundry.
Khalid has a lot of explaining to do, especially if no application to Australia under the MLAT to interview Sirul was ever made. Why then were his men there? The new government has banned him from leaving the country and for good reason.
Special Branch as Uninvited Guests in Sydney
We do have a clue as to what these police officers were getting up to in Sydney. A SMS exchange between Sirul’s immigration consultant, Robert Chelliah and Sirul’s ‘butler’ Datuk Ganasan certainly makes this very clear.
Ganasan: They (police) promised to buy him a house in Sydney this time and Salam made him sign numerous documents whilst we were in Villawood that I was not privy to.
Chelliah: I hope he does not fall into their trap
Ganasan: Yes yes yes Police went and fixed up his mothers house in Taiping Brand new roofs etc etc
Someone had promised Sirul he would be presented with million-dollar accommodation in Sydney where he could live once he was released. What he got instead was a new roof for his mother’s house in Taiping, but he is still locked up in a room in a detention centre, costing the Australian tax payer $239,000.00 a year. Fair deal. That’s over a million bucks in accommodation so far and the bill wasn’t even footed by the Malaysian Police.
From the SMS exchange above, it looks as if Sirul’s old boss, Salam, was the key negotiator. He must have been very good at his job because he reduced Sirul’s original demand for $17 million to a new roof in Taiping.
Sirul ought to be thankful he is a foreign asylum seeker in Australia and not a foreign asylum seeker in Malaysia. The standard of accommodation in detention centres is slightly different.
But the real question here is who was Salam negotiating on behalf of? What vested interest could he possibly have had in these negotiations. Who was giving him the instructions?
Why were the ‘police’ offering to buy Sirul a house in Sydney? And why were they repairing roofs?
Where was the money supposed to have come from? The coffers of the Royal Malaysian Police Force Football Club?
You would have to be a complete idiot to think all these negotiations were being undertaken by a philanthropic Malaysian Police Force.
It is obvious they were were being conducted on behalf of someone who had a lot to lose if Sirul was not placated. The person behind the scenes must have been someone powerful enough to be able to command the subservience of the Royal Malaysian Police Force, headed of course, by Khalid, Najib’s favourite policeman.
Who will Represent Sirul now?
Sirul will need legal representation if the Malaysian Police obtain the requisite permission from the Australians to interview him.
Will his previous Malaysian solicitors and counsel step up once again to act in his best interests or has their ‘independent’ source of funds dried up now?
Perhaps Sirul will be forced, by the change in circumstances due to the May 2018 elections, to opt for legal aid in Australia instead?
Will his new solicitors advise him that the best way out of the quagmire he is in at the moment is to cooperate fully with the Malaysian Police and to somehow strike a deal with them?
Will Sirul also be advised to file the same application Azilah has filed in the Federal Court? Because if he is successful, then Australia will be able to get rid of him forever.
David Coleman (Australian Minister for Immigration), are you listening?
Please arrange for the best legal aid team you have, to head to Villawood now because we don’t think Kamarul and Hasnal are in a position to act in the best interests of Sirul any longer.