A-G files appeal over duo’s acquittal

(Bernama) – The prosecution has filed a notice of appeal against the acquittal of two police special action unit personnel on the charge of murdering Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Deputy Solicitor-General II of the Attorney-General’s Chambers Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah confirmed that the prosecution had filed the notice at the Court of Appeal registry on Friday.

The notice of appeal was filed on the same day the court handed down its decision on the appeal of the two policemen, he told Bernama.

Tun Majid said the prosecution would file its petition of appeal within 10 days upon receiving the appeal records.

On Friday, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal chaired by Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali freed Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar on the murder charge after unanimously allowing their appeals.

The other two judges on the panel were Linton Albert and Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.

Azilah, 37, and Sirul Azhar, 42, had appealed against a High Court’s decision which convicted and sentenced them to death for Altantuya’s murder.

They were alleged to have murdered Altantuya, 28, at Mukim Bukit Raja in Shah Alam between 10 pm on Oct 19 and 1 am on Oct 20, 2006.

Former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 50, who was charged with abetting them, was acquitted by the High Court on Oct 31, 2008 after the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against him. The prosecution did not appeal.

In a 47-page judgment, the Court of Appeal said circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution were insufficient to sustain the finding of guilt of the two policemen.

It said their guilt had not been satisfactorily proven, thus the court was constrained  to give them the benefit of the doubt.