Cops framed Sirul over Altantuya's murder, says counsel

Cops framed Sirul over Altantuya's murder, says counsel
Azilah Hadri, chief inspector and Sirul Azhar, corporal, suspects in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibu, arrive at Shah Alam High Court on June 23, 2014.

PUTRAJAYA - Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar was framed by the police for the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Federal Court was told.

His counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin submitted that the police had "orchestrated" the discovery of the Mongolian model's jewellery in the pocket of a black jacket found in Kpl Sirul's house.

He referred to the testimony of a police photographer who said he was ordered by his superior to take a photo of Kpl Sirul pointing at the jacket, only after the superior told him "barang sudah jumpa (we found the item)".

"The superior officer contradicts this, saying the photo was taken spontaneously.

"Then, he must be telepathic to know exactly when my client would point at the jacket," said Kamarul.

Kpl Sirul, 42, and Chief Insp Azilah Hadri, 37, were at the second day of hearing in an appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision to acquit them of Altantuya's murder.

Kamarul countered the prosecution's argument that the police could not plant evidence in his client's house as they did not have the keys, saying Kpl Sirul had handed his house keys to ACP Mastor Mohd Ariff.

Kamarul added that the prosecution had failed to address the issue of the existence of another set of keys, used to access Kpl Sirul's house during the investigation.

"If the police already had those keys and already went to the house and only then the jewellery was found in the house, it is unsafe evidence," he noted.

C/Insp Azilah's lawyer J. Kuldeep Kumar argued that the High Court had settled the alibi issue, on whether C/Insp Azilah was at the crime scene or not.

Kuldeep referenced the Bukit Aman station diary, which showed that C/Insp Azilah was at the police headquarters at the time of Altantuya's murder, saying that as a public record the diary was admissible as evidence under certain circumstances.

Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria agreed that the diary was relevant but questioned its admissibility, as the prosecution had already pointed out that the diary was hearsay.

The panel, chaired by Justice Ariffin, also included Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum, and Federal Court Justices Abdul Hamid, Suriyadi Halim Omar and Ahmad Maarop.

On Aug 23, last year, the Court of Appeal overturned the conviction of Kpl Sirul and C/Insp Azilah, ruling the cumulative effect of the misdirections by the trial judge had rendered the judgement unsafe.

The prosecution, led by deputy solicitor-general II Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, had appealed against the Court of Appeal's finding.

In 2009, the Shah Alam High Court convicted the two former Special Action Unit members of killing Altantuya at Mukim Bukit Raja, Klang, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20, 2006.

Former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who was jointly charged with them, was acquitted by the High Court on Oct 31, 2008, after the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against him.

The trial continues today.

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