Judge blocks statement from Najib’s former ADC

By Neville Spykerman, The Malaysian Insider

In a major setback today for the defence in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial, Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin denied them access to the witness statement of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's former aide-de-camp DSP Musa Safri.

Mohd Zaki said he was bound by a ruling of the Federal Court that witness statements recorded under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code is privileged.

The application was made by defence lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, who is representing Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, jointly charged with Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 32, for the murder of Altantuya.

Altantuya is the former lover of Abdul Razak Baginda, a close aide of the DPM. Investigators say she was shot and her remains blown up with C4 explosives at a forest clearing near here in 2006.

Mohd Zaki said that from the onset of the trial the defence counsel had sought to get the 112 statements from all prosecution witnesses and this was rejected on the same grounds.

The move is a setback for Sirul's defence team as they wanted Musa's witness statement to rebut Abdul Razak's affidavit.

Abdul Razak was recently acquitted of abetting the two policemen in the murder.

It was argued yesterday that the rebuttal evidence could only come from Musa but the prosecution did not call him to the stand as their witness.

The trial is set to resume on Feb 4 when Sirul is scheduled to testify from the dock.

Azilah and Sirul, members of the police's Special Action Unit (UTK), are accused of murdering Altantuya, 28, at a jungle clearing in Mukim Bukit Raja between 10pm on Oct 19, 2006 and 1am the following day.

They were ordered to enter their defence on Oct 31 last year.

Azilah had testified earlier that he had been instructed by Musa to help Abdul Razak, whom he said claimed to have been blackmailed by a "Chinese woman," believed to be Altantuya, for unknown reasons.