By JOSEPH KAOS Jr
PUTRAJAYA: The Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case should be reopened, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In a meeting with the victim’s father Dr Shaariibuu Setev and family lawyer Ramkarpal Singh on Wednesday (June 20), Dr Mahathir agreed that the 12-year-old case should be looked into again.
“He (Dr Mahathir) agreed that it is a case that warrants further investigation,” said Ramkarpal.
“The prime minister however is also adamant that the process must follow the rule of law.
“We also agree with him and have started the due process, which began with meeting the Attorney-General yesterday (June 19). We are confident that the rule of law will take its course.
“It was a very satisfactory meeting. The Prime Minister also spoke in detail with Dr Shaariibuu,” Ramkarpal told reporters outside the Prime Minister’s office here after the 30-minute meeting.
Also present were a Mongolian translator and a representative from the Mongolian consulate.
Dr Shaariibuu had lodged a report earlier on Wednesday (June 20) at the Dang Wangi police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur seeking a fresh investigation.
He also said Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga had spoken to him over the phone to thank Dr Mahathir.
After Pakatan Harapan won its historic victory in GE14 and took over Putrajaya, Khaltmaagiin had also written to Dr Mahathir.
“As the President of Mongolia, I pay special attention to the grave crime committed in Malaysia on Oct 18, 2006 – the murder of Ms Shariibuu Altantuya, a Mongolian national and a mother of two children,” Khaltmaagiin said in his letter.
He urged the then newly sworn-in premier to help bring justice to Altantuya’s family “to invigorate the atmosphere in the bilateral relations between our two countries”.
Two former policemen, Sirul Azhar Umar and accomplice Azilah Hadri, were convicted of murdering Altantuya in 2009 and sentenced to death by the High Court, although the Court of Appeal overturned this in 2013.
On the prosecution’s appeal, the Federal Court upheld their death sentences, but Sirul had fled to Australia by then.
Former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who was charged together with them, was freed on Oct 31, 2008, after the court found no concrete evidence against him.
Meanwhile, Ramkarpal said the identity of the individual who ordered the murder of Altantuya could already be determined from the previous police investigation.
“I believe the previous investigation has already identified the person, or if there is more than one, who ordered the murder.
“Whoever ordered this should be brought to face justice. The crime is heavier than the one committed by those who followed orders and did the killing,” he declared.
Ramkarpal confident with new evidence, Altantuya’s murder case will be reopened
Altantuya’s father makes police report for fresh murder probe