Don’t get over-excited with Azilah’s SD, lawyer Haniff tells public
He said there would be questions raised as to why Azilah had not blamed Najib when he had the opportunity to do so during the murder trial. “He was put in the witness box. Why did he not say it then?”
(FMT) – Prominent lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla has cautioned the public against jumping to conclusions in the wake of fresh allegations against Najib Razak by Azilah Hadri, who was convicted of killing Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Haniff said re-opening an investigation into the murder would not be easy.
“Many among us ask, when will the file be re-opened? It’s not as easy as that. It is a principle in law that when a criminal trial has concluded hearing all testimonies and has reached a decision, the investigation file cannot be re-opened except under special circumstances,” Haniff told Jom Channel, an online talk show streamed live on Facebook tonight.
This comes after Attorney-General Tommy Thomas reportedly said that the high-profile murder case could be re-opened based on new allegations against the former prime minister made by Azilah in a statutory declaration he issued to appeal against his conviction and death sentence.
Haniff said any new investigation would call into question the role of many parties involved in the investigation and prosecution of the 2006 murder, including then attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail.
“Investigations can only be re-opened if there are police reports, and we also do not know whether the evidence that was originally presented in court has been destroyed or not,” said Haniff.
In his statutory declaration to review his conviction by the Federal Court in 2015, Azilah, who was convicted of murdering Altantuya alongside his colleague Sirul Azhar Umar, claimed that the instruction to murder Altantuya came from Najib.
He is seeking to have his conviction set aside and a fresh trial held.
He further said Altantuya’s former lover Abdul Razak Baginda and senior police officer Musa Safri were aware of the “instructions” from Najib.
Najib and Razak Baginda, who was acquitted of Altantuya’s murder, have rubbished the latest claims.
Haniff said that investigators have their work cut out for them if they were to revisit the case file.
He said there was a tendency among those politically opposed to Najib to “overkill the issue” by pre-judging the case and concluding that Najib was guilty.
He said there would be questions raised as to why Azilah had not blamed Najib when he had the opportunity to do so during the murder trial.
“He was put in the witness box. Why did he not say it then?”
Haniff said that Azilah in his statutory declaration did not state why he had not come clean on his claim about Najib when he had the chance to do so.
“A statutory declaration cannot be considered fresh testimony.
“As long as the conviction stays, it is procedurally wrong to ask for a reinvestigation of the case,” said Haniff.