SHAH ALAM: There was another change of lawyers in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial yesterday.
Hazman Ahmad and J. Kuldeep Kumar appeared for the first time for C/Insp Azilah Hadri yesterday, replacing Zulkifli Noordin, who could not be reached for an explanation for the discharge.
When approached, the new lawyers told the press that C/Insp Azilah, 31, had appointed them on April 17, a day after the previous lawyer was discharged.
This is the second change of lawyers for C/Insp Azilah, who is charged together with Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, with the murder of the Mongolian beauty.
Lawyer Shaun Tan Kee Shaan initially represented the two policemen when they were first charged.
But when the Kuala Lumpur High Court heard the bail application of Abdul Razak Baginda, who is charged with abetting in the murder, Zulkifli, Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin and two other lawyers turned up and challenged Tan’s position as counsel.
In the end, Tan discharged himself and Zulkifli went on to represent C/Insp Azilah while Kamarul Hisham officially became Kpl Sirul Azhar's counsel together with Ahmad Zaidi Zainal and Hasnal Rezua Merican.
Apart from Zulkifli's departure, lawyer Kitson Foong also made his exit from the case yesterday despite having only appeared once last Friday for Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar.
Kamarul Hisham, when asked about this, explained that Foong was only roped in for Friday's application for the witnesses' statements from the prosecution.
Abdul Razak, who was initially represented by Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and M. Puravalen from the time of his remand, was also not spared a shuffle of lawyers.
Once the 47-year-old political analyst's case was transferred to the High Court here from Kuala Lumpur, lawyer Wong Kian Kheong took over as counsel but no reason was given for the change.