PUTRAJAYA: In a breach of protocol, former police commando Azilah Hadri (pic) - who is currently on death row for the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Sharibuu - was allegedly brought outside prison to meet with a VVIP, claims the lawyer of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The former prime minister's counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah claimed that this was part of the attempt to politically assassinate Najib.
Speaking to reporters at the Federal Court on Tuesday (Dec 17), Shafee claimed that the VVIP had met with Azilah, who is now held at Kajang Prison, in February 2019.
"There is very reliable information that Azilah met a VVIP outside the prison in February. I can't say (who it is).
"A VVIP outside of prison! Not in prison. When he is on death row, that is a breach of protocol," he claimed, adding that he was trying to confirm whether this was indeed true or not.
Shafee, who is also leading Najib's defence team for the former premier's SRC International Sdn Bhd and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trials, also said that several Malaysian agents had met with Azilah's partner, Sirul Azhar Umar, in Australia.
"In terms of Sirul, I know some Malaysian agents including an Australian reporter have been visiting Sirul to get him to come out with a statement coordinated with Azilah," he said.
Malaysiakini reported on Monday (Dec 16) reported that Azilah filed a statutory declaration (SD) on Oct 17 to support his review application for his 2015 conviction and death sentence for the murder.
Azilah's SD contained allegations linking Najib to the murder of Altantuya.
Speaking about the SD, Shafee said that it was an attempt at political assassination.
"It is a mala fide (bad faith) act to create sensation around my client," he said.
In 2015, the Federal Court convicted Azilah and Sirul for murdering Altantuya.
Justice Suriyadi Halim Omar, who read the judgement, ruled that the prosecution had proven its case against the two accused beyond reasonable doubt.
On Aug 23,2013, the Court of Appeal overturned the Shah Alam High Court's decision to convict the duo, sparing them from the gallows.
The panel chaired by Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali, in a 47-page judgment held that circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution was insufficient and that the duo’s guilt had not been satisfactorily proven.
In 2009, Azhar and Sirul were convicted and sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court for killing Altantuya at Mukim Bukit Raja, Klang, between 10pm on Oct 19,2006, 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 prosecution did not appeal his acquittal.