|Altantuya murder: Case against Abdul Razak delayed|
|Hafiz Yatim | Jun 16, 09 11:21am|
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The family of murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu will have to wait for their day in court, to compel the attorney-general (AG) to appeal against Abdul Razak Baginda’s acquittal.
The hearing of their judicial application will only continue after further written submissions are made.
The matter came up in the Shah Alam High Court today before Judicial Commissioner Noraini Abdul Rahman, but another mention date was set on July 8.
This is to allow lawyer Karpal Singh (right), acting for Altantuya’s family, to submit his submission in reply.
The case will be mentioned before a deputy registrar on that day. Counsel Sangeet Kaur mentioned the case on behalf of Karpal this morning.
Senior federal counsel Kamaluddin Mohd Said represented the AG’s Chambers, while KK Wong appeared for Abdul Razak.
Mongolian honorary consul to Malaysia, Syed Abdul Rahman Al Habshi, was also present to monitor the progress of the case.
The case was filed on Dec 24 last year by Karpal on behalf of Altantuya’s father Dr Setev Shaariibuu (left).
In the application, they asked the court to quash the AG’s decision not to appeal Abdul Razak’s acquittal on an abetment charge in the murder.
They also want the court to direct the AG to use his discretionary powers under Article 145 (3) of the federal constitution to apply for leave to file an appeal.
Abdul Razak was acquitted and discharged on Oct 31 last year without his defence being called.
Shah Alam High Court judge Mohd Zaki Md Yasin had ruled that the prosecution had not proven a prima facie case, as a sworn affidavit by Abdul Razak was not rebutted.
AG’s discretionary power
Lead prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah announced two weeks later that the prosecution would not appeal, as the court had made a finding of fact in its decision.
AG Abdul Gani Patail (right) has since filed an affidavit, stating that the matter is non-justiciable based on Article 145 (3) of the constitution, which states that no one can question the chamber’s decision to prosecute or not file an appeal.
The article reads that the AG shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court-martial.
Abdul Gani had also submitted that Shaariibuu does not have locus standii (legal standing) in the case as the AG has represented the public interest.
Two special action squad members – Azilah Hadri, 33, and Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, – have been found guilty of the murder and sentenced to death. They have filed separate appeals.
Kamaluddin also stated that Shaariibuu’s RM100 million civil suit against the two policemen, Abdul Razak and the government is fixed for mention next month.
The AG’s chambers have requested Shaariibuu to deposit RM1 million in security to cover possible costs in the suit.