'I can't say who masterminded it, but I didn't kill Altantuya'

24 Nov 2023 02:58pm
Former bodyguard claims that a kill order was granted to defend then-DPM Datuk Seri Najib Razak - Screenshot from Al- Jazeera English
Former bodyguard claims that a kill order was granted to defend then-DPM Datuk Seri Najib Razak - Screenshot from Al- Jazeera English

SHAH ALAM - Even though Malaysian former Special Action Force (UTK) member Sirul Azhar Umar is currently free in Australia, he won't say who ordered the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The only thing Sirul claimed was that the order to kill was given to 'protect' Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the deputy prime minister at the time.

Sirul is facing the death penalty for the 2006 murder of Altantuya.

"I will reveal it to you.

"Especially to safeguard Mr Najib, the then-acting Prime Minister.

"That concludes our discussion, my response," he said in an interview that aired this morning on 101 East on Al Jazeera English.

However, he did reveal that chief inspector Azilah Hadri, his boss, and the man serving a death sentence at Kajang Prison for the murder of Altantuya had informed him that they were working on a special operation for Najib, the defence minister.

In addition, Sirul acknowledged that he received RM1 million in exchange for his silence throughout his flight to Australia and claimed that 'someone' was still in charge of him.

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Sirul added that extradition would endanger his life and that he would prefer to remain in Australia with his son, Shukri Azam, vowing to abide by Australian law.

"I swear to my son that I will never, ever break the law in this place.

"I'm not a nasty guy, so I hope the Australian community embraces me.

He went on to say he would ask Altantuya's family for forgiveness and offer his sincere apologies.

After the Australian High Court declared on Nov 8 that indefinite immigration detention was illegal, Sirul was freed from the Villawood immigration detention facility in Sydney two weeks ago.

According to Australian policy, anyone who is facing the death penalty in their home country cannot be deported.

Police Inspector-General Tan Sri Razarudin Husain stated that the authorities will talk about the potential of requesting repatriation with the attorney general and the courts after Sirul's release.

Although Azilah claimed Najib gave the order to assassinate Altantuya, claiming she was a foreign spy, Najib has consistently denied any role in her death.

The high court found Sirul and Azilah—who had been identified as Najib's bodyguards—guilty of Altantuya's murder in 2009.

However, the verdict was reversed in 2013 by the Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court upheld it in 2015.

Before the final decision was made, Sirul fled to Australia, where he has been living since 2015.

In 2019, his request for political asylum was turned down.

Altantuya was reportedly kidnapped in Oct 2006; she was shot in the head in Puncak Alam, and her body was detonated with explosives.

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