Govt, Razak Baginda, 2 others ordered to pay RM5mil to Altantuya’s family

The High Court here has ordered the government and three others to pay RM5 million in damages to Altantuya Shaariibuu’s family over her death in 2006.

(FMT) – Justice Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera made the ruling during an online proceeding this morning after finding that Altantuya’s family had successfully proved their claim on a balance of probabilities against the government, political analyst Razak Baginda and former policemen Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri.

In his judgment, Vazeer said Sirul and Azilah “deliberately shot” and “strapped explosives” onto Altantuya and should be held accountable for their actions.

He said Razak was the link between the two former policemen and Altantuya, but took the position that he had no case to answer in the action.

“The third defendant (Razak) was the one who enlisted the first defendant’s (Azilah) assistance to resolve the disturbance (by Altantuya).

“(Razak), in his statement to the police, mentioned that (Azilah) told him that he can ‘habiskan perempuan itu’ (destroy that woman) and (claimed he) had done it a few times before,” Vazeer said.

The court was told that Razak was Altantuya’s former lover and that she had gone to his house and demanded to see him some time in October 2006. She also wanted to collect payment from Razak for some translation work she had done for him.

According to Vazeer, although Razak had dismissed Azilah’s remarks, he continued to seek the duo’s help to deal with Altantuya.

Referring to now deceased private investigator P Balasubramaniam, or PI Bala, whom Razak had engaged, Vazeer said: “Bala advised (Razak) to lodge a police report against Altantuya for harassment but (Razak) did not heed Bala’s advice and enlisted the assistance of a ‘self-confessed killer’.”

The judge also said evidence presented in court showed that Azilah and Sirul had harassed Altantuya at her hotel, prompting her to lodge a police report to implicate Razak.

“She mentioned that if anything happened to her, the police should look for (Razak),” he said.

The court was told that the authorities subsequently arrested Sirul, Azilah and Razak for investigations into her death.

Altantuya’s father, Shaariibuu Setev, his wife, Altantsetseg Sanjaa, and Altantuya’s son, Mungunshagai, had filed the suit, claiming that there was a conspiracy surrounding her murder.

Altantuya was shot in the head in 2006 in a forest in Puncak Alam. Her body was later blown up with explosives.

Azilah and Sirul were found guilty and sentenced to death for her murder.

Razak, a former aide to then deputy prime minister Najib Razak, was charged with abetting the duo, but acquitted without his defence being called.

Altantuya’s family was represented by lawyers Sangeet Kaur Deo, Tan Chee Kian and Simranjit Kaur. Razak was represented by P Mithran.

Senior federal counsel Zetty Zurina Kamaruddin and Khairuddin Anhar Mahmud represented the government.

Sirul, who is being held at an Australian immigration detention centre, and Azilah, who is on death row at Kajang prison, did not challenge the family’s suit.