Altantuya’s father to challenge A-G’s decision

SHAH ALAM: In an unprecedented move, the father of murder victim Altantuya Shaariibuu has filed a judicial review leave application to challenge the decision of the attorney-general who failed to appeal against the acquittal of political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda.

Shaariibuu Setev wants the A-G to apply for a warrant of arrest for Abdul Razak Baginda
Shaariibuu Setev wants the A-G to apply for a warrant of arrest for Abdul Razak Baginda 

Shaariibuu Setev also wants the A-G to apply for extension of time to appeal against the ruling of trial judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin in setting Razak free on Oct 31 without calling his defence.

Razak, 48, is said to have abetted two policemen in the murder of the Mongolian woman.

The A-G, who is also the public prosecutor, did not file a notice of appeal when the deadline expired on Nov 14.

Setev, who filed the application at the Shah Alam High Court yesterday through his counsel Karpal Singh, also wants the A-G to apply for a warrant of arrest to detain Razak or offer him bail pending the outcome of the appeal in the Court of Appeal.

Karpal said Setev, who named the A-G and Razak as respondents, needed to only show that his application was not an abuse of court process to obtain the leave.

He said this was the first time an aggrieved party was taking on the A-G head-on as in the past, the court had ruled that the powers of the A-G could not be questioned.

"But we are doing it now because of new judicial pronouncements in other countries."

Karpal said Razak's lawyer, Wong Khian Kheong, would be served the papers as the counsel wanted to participate in the proceedings to object that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the application.

"I don't mind. He can come in," Karpal said, adding that usually the court only heard the submission of an applicant seeking leave for judicial review.

Karpal, who held a watching brief for the victim's family and the Mongolian government during the trial, said the A-G would be served the papers three days before the hearing, even if he was not party to a matter.

"The A-G has direct interest in this case and I believe he will participate in the proceedings."

Karpal also said he would also file a certificate of urgency for the High Court to hear the matter as soon as possible.

Karpal, in his affidavit to support Setev's application, said the A-G, as the public prosecutor, had the discretion under the Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution and section 376 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code to institute, conduct and discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than matters in the syariah court, native court or a military court.

He said his firm on Oct 31 wrote to the A-G to file the notice of appeal against Razak's acquittal.

Karpal said five days later, the A-G replied to state reasons why he (A-G) should file an appeal against Razak's acquittal.

Karpal said he responded to the letter on Nov 12, but two days later, deputy public prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah publicly stated that the A-G would not appeal Zaki's decision.

Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 32, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, are charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, in Mukim Bukit Raja between 10pm on Oct 19, 2006, and 1am the following day.

The two Special Action Squad members are scheduled to enter their defence on Jan 15.