Mum claims ex-commando Sirul framed in Altantuya murder

File photo of Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar arriving at the courthouse in Shah Alam

(Malay Mail Online) – The mother of former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar who was sentenced to death for the murder of a Mongolian model has insisted that her son was framed.

Sirul’s mother, Pia Samat, was reported saying in PAS organ Harakah that her son had merely performed his “duty as a police personnel”.

“I don’t what else to say, only God knows what’s in my heart… I can only pray to Allah for his safety,” said the 74-year-old to the PAS publication.

The single mother also said Sirul, the fourth child in a family of eight children, is a “filial son” who takes good care of his siblings.

According to Harakah, Pia made the claim when PAS information chief Datuk Mahfuz Omar, PAS Youth chief Suhaizan Kayat and exco Salman Saleh as well as central committee member Idris Ahmad, visited her at her house in Changkat Jering, Bukit Gantang on Sunday.

Pia added that while many have offered their sympathies, the family has also come under attack over accusations that Sirul was paid to murder Altantuya Shaariibuu.

“There are people who said that he was paid when he didn’t get anything… I’m ashamed to meet people.

“Just a year ago, his sibling died in an accident… now I receive this news about him,” she said.

Sirul and former chief Inspector Azilah Hadri were charged with the murder of 28-year-old Altantuya in 2006 and convicted in 2009.

They were freed after the appellate court acquitted them in 2013, but last week, the Federal Court reversed the acquittal and sent them back to hang, marking the end to the eight-year saga.

Sirul was a no-show during the Federal Court hearing, however, and it was later revealed that he is in Australia and was unable to return due to a lack of funds.

Malaysian police have put a formal request in for Sirul’s deportation to Malaysia but Australia’s extradition legislation prohibits an individual from being sent back to another country for an offence punishable by death, unless that country pledges not to carry out a death sentence.

According to the Australian Immigration and Border Protection Department, Sirul is still under detention in the country.