Mat Zain wants Altantuya accused retried

(The Malaysian Inisder) – Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim urged today Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to step in and relook the Attorney-General’s (A-G) prosecution of two policemen now on death row for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The retired cop accused the A-G of mishandling the case, which reflects a miscarriage of justice as the motive for murder was never found.

The former head of the KL Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has repeatedly accused A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail of having deceived the federal government and former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in several high-profile cases ranging from the infamous ‘black eye” incident involving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to most recently, the trial of Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in the multi-billion ringgit Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.

In an open letter today, Mat Zain suggested that Abdul Gani’s handling of the prosecution in the Altantuya murder case had blocked the court from giving a fair trial to the two men accused of murdering the former mistress of PM Najib’s once close friend, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda.

“The possibility exists that there was miscarriage of justice, whether deliberate or otherwise, that caused the court to sentence to death Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar [Umar],” Mat Zain said in the letter to the PM; a copy was also sent to the media.

The ex-cop drew parallels between the Altantuya murder case and that of former beauty queen Jean Perera Sinappa who was also discovered murdered in April 1979 near the Subang airport.

Mat Zain recounted that in the 32 year-old case, Sinappa’s brother-in-law, Kartigesu, who was accused of her murder and sentenced to death was later freed after the Court of Appeal found that one of the witnesses, Jayatilake, had lied in his testimony.

In comparison, Abdul Gani had “buried” possibly crucial evidence in the Altantuya trial, namely private investigator P. Balasubramian’s two contradictory statutory declarations (SD), that could help both Azilah and Sirul Azhar.

“I conclude that Gani Patail’s action to bury the testimony in Balasubramaniam’s two SDs made on 3 and 4 July 2008, from being presented for tghe judge’s consideration in the then-ongoing Altantuya murder trial had denied the two accused, C/Insp.Azilah dan Koporal Sirul, justice,” Mat Zain said.

He stressed that the A-G has the discretion to begin, manage or end a criminal proceeding, under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.

“But the A-G does not have the right or power to abuse his authority or perform a criminal act such as creating false testimony, cheat, hide or bury testimony from being presented for the judge’s consideration and other criminal acts,” the retired cop said.

“If he does any of these, he too is bound by the laws under the Criminal Procedure Code, same as everyone else,” he added, and reminded the PM of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s message to the public on July 3 that “no one [is] above the law”.