Sirul could be back in prison within days

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian murder convict Sirul Azhar Umar (pic), who was released from detention just three weeks ago, could see his freedom shortlived and be back in prison within days.

The Australian government is rushing to pass a preventive law to detain immigrants with a criminal history for up to three years.

Sirul was among 148 foreign detainees who were freed last month after the High Court ruled that indefinite detention was unlawful.

Australian news portals reported that a new law passed by the Senate would allow the authorities to re-arrest the detainees and hold them in custody for up to three years.

However, such a decision to incarcerate can only be done by a court of law if any of the detainees had been convicted of a violent or sexual crime which is punishable by at least seven years and if he or she carries a risk of re-offending.

While Sirul was held at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney, for overstaying earlier, he could now find himself in a full-fledged prison if the new law comes into effect.

Sirul, 51, a former police commando and his ex-colleague Azilah Hadri were sentenced to death here for the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

However, Sirul fled to Australia in 2015 after the verdict was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Later, the Federal Court reinstated the death sentence on the duo.

While Azilah remains in jail here pending a review he applied for on his sentence, Sirul was kept in detention for nine years by the Australian authorities before he was freed last month.

Sirul’s whereabouts are under scrutiny by the Australian authorities who have attached an electronic monitoring device on him.

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