Altantuya Murder Trial: Decision on Musa’s statement today

(NST) – Murder accused Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar will know today if he is able to obtain DSP Musa Safri's cautioned statement to help prepare his defence from the dock.

Counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin told the court yesterday that his team was blind-sided in their preparation as they were not supplied with Musa's statement.

Deputy public prosecutor Manoj Kurup had earlier said that the statement was a privileged document to the prosecution and could not be made available to the defence.

Manoj, however, said that Kamarul's team was free to interview Musa. "We are not using the statement in evidence."

"The prosecution will argue that we can interview Musa but interviewing him is of no value if we do not know what he has said to the police.

"Thus, the defence is blind-sided," Kamarul said.

He added that Musa was an important witness simply because he is the only person who is able to rebut the affidavit by Abdul Razak Baginda.

(Razak, who was accused of abetting Sirul, 36, and Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 32, both members of the Special Action Squad in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, had filed a bail affidavit at the beginning of the murder trial in June 2007. The political analyst was acquitted in October last year largely due to the absence of the rebuttal evidence against the statements during trial)

Sirul and Azilah are charged with murdering Altantuya at Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am the following day.

On Tuesday, counsel Datuk Hazman Ahmad informed the court that he would not be calling anymore witnesses upon conclusion of Azilah's testimony.

Azilah, in his testimony, said DSP Musa Safri was said to have asked Azilah to contact Razak two days before Altantuya's murder.

He had told Azilah that Razak was in trouble and needed help.

The prosecution, however, decided not to call Musa as their witness.

On Kamarul's contention that the defence was blind-sided, Manoj replied that the defence could still ask Musa during the interview if he made the same statement to the police.

"Until now we do not know what interest the accused has in that statement.

"The statement by Musa was with regard to Razak. Sirul was in no way mentioned in the affidavit apart from Razak saying that he did not know Sirul," Manoj said.

"We do not know what Musa had said. Suppose there was a line that shows that certain superior order was made to kill, we would not have known this. And that is a possible line of defence," countered Kamarul.

Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin will deliver his decision on the matter today.