Azilah: I was having ‘char kuey teow’ and was not even carrying my gun

In the third day of hearing of the defence’s testimony, Chief Inspector Azilah reiterated his alibi and that he was not even carrying his gun that fateful day …

By Suara Keadilan English Team

Under cross-examination today, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri again denied he was at scene of the murder of a 28-year old Mongolian translator, alleged to have been Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s mistress.

The 32-year Azilah, who took up the post of Najib’s chief escort, on Oct 20, the day after Altantuya’s killing, reiterated his alibi.

He had previously told the Shah Alam High Court that he had been having ‘char kway teow’ with his fiancé in Wangsa Maju during the hours that Altantuya was believed to have been slain.

The Mongolian woman was murdered at a location between Lot 12843 and Lot 16735 in a jungle clearing in Mukim Bukit Raja between 10 pm on Oct 19, 2006, and 1 am the following day. Some investigators say her body was strapped with C4 explosives and blown up to prevent identification.

The case has been widely followed both nationally and internationally because of the link to Najib, who has been accused of having a sexual relationship with her, before passing her onto Abdul Razak Baginda.

Razak, a political analyst and former adviser of Najib, has admitted taking Altantuya as his lover, but is adamant that Najib never met her.

Although Najib too has denied ever knowing Altantuya, he has not been able to shake off the accusations, which flared again when Razak was acquitted and discharged without having to enter his defence for abetting Azilah and his colleague Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar in the murder.

Azilah had last week told the court that he got to know Razak Baginda through Najib’s aide-de-camp Musa Safri, who on Oct 17 asked if he could help Razak with a ‘problem’.

According to Azilah, Musa gave him Razak’s handphone number. But he only managed to contact Razak the next day.

Azilah denies Razak’s testimony, says was not even carrying his gun

Today, Azilah also denied he phoned Razak Baginda and told him “you can sleep in peace tonight’.

He said he did not see Altantuya again after she left his car earlier in the evening and got into Sirul’s car.

Azilah told the court that he had asked Sirul to meet him at Central Market so they could go to Hotel Malaya to “advise” the “Chinese woman” not to disturb Razak anymore together. He also identified the “Chinese woman” as Altantuya.

In previous testimony, Azilah had said Razak told him he was being blackmailed by Altantuya and a unidentified “Chinese man”

Azilah also told the court that he was not carrying his gun that night, on Oct 18, that he had left it in his cabinet before meeting Sirul because it was uncomfortable and hurt his waist to carry.

Not sure if jeep Altantuya got into with Sirul belonged to Sirul

However, both he and Sirul did not meet Altantuya that night, deciding against knocking on her hotel room door for fear that it might not be the right room.

Azilah said he surrendered his gun on Oct 18  after briefing his team of Special Action Unit (UTK) personnel ahead of their assignment to escort Najib in Hong Kong.

He claimed that he only retrieved the weapon the next day, upon returning from Wangsa Maju after having supper with his fiancé, when it became apparent the Hong Kong assignment had been cancelled.

The public prosecutor, Tun Majid Tun Hamzah, asked why he had done so given that there was no firm date set for the assignment.

Azilah then replied that they had been scheduled to leave anytime between Oct 21-23.

In the evening of Oct 19, also the night of the murder, Azilah went to Razak’s house, asking Sirul to come along on fears that the “Chinese man” might be there, even though Razak had said he was not present.

Tun Majid then put it to Azilah that he had gone with Sirul that night with the intention of killing Altantuya.

“I tell you, after you left Bukit Aman, you, Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar and the Chinese woman went to Puncak Alam, killed and blew up the deceased, then you returned to Bukit Aman.

“That between 10.43pm and 11.28pm you were at the incident scene with Sirul and shot and blew up the deceased,” said Tun Majid, to which Azilah disagreed.

Azilah had also said he and Sirul had stopped their vehicles to let Altantuya move from Azilah’s car into Sirul’s jeep. However, Azilah said he was not sure if the jeep used by Sirul actually belonged to him.

In testimony last week, Azilah said this was because his girlfriend Rohaniza Roslan, who had followed him to Razak’s house, wanted to return to Petaling Jaya to meet her friends, so Sirul had agreed to send Altantuya back to her hotel.

“I have never seen it at the office, so how would I know if it is his or not? It is a four-wheeler, for playing in the jungle,” said Azilah.

The cross-examination continues tomorrow. Azilah’s counsel, Hazman Ahmad, will also re-examine him.