PETALING JAYA: The Australian government has confirmed that there has been no agreement yet between it and Malaysia to extradite convicted murderer Sirul Azhar Umar.
However, it said discussions are ongoing between the two countries.
“Australia looks forward to continuing and strengthening our productive and longstanding law enforcement cooperation with the government of Malaysia,” the Australian High Commission said in a statement Friday.
This comes after UK daily The Guardian, quoting sources, reported that Australian authorities had approved Malaysia's request to extradite Sirul and he is expected to return to the country within a month.
However, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad earlier Friday denied that there was such an agreement.
He said the Government would consider the possibility of commuting Sirul's death sentence to life imprisonment so that he can come back and testify.
Sirul has been convicted of murdering Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Altantuya, 28, was believed to have been shot dead before her body was blown to bits with explosives at a secondary forest near the Subang Dam in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam, in 2006.
In 2013, the Court of Appeal overturned the sentences of Sirul and Azilah Hadrim, his accomplice.
But, upon the prosecution's appeal, the death sentences were upheld by the Federal Court.
Sirul then fled to Australia where he was detained by the Australian Immigration after Interpol issued a red notice on him.
Australia previously refused to extradite Sirul as it violated the country's laws of not sending home a person facing the death sentence.