Jun 4, 2007

Defence Lawyer Quit, Trial Postponed, Government Sued, So what else is new?

This morning was the sensational court case for the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial which was scheduled to begin today. However, it has been postponed to June 18 following an application by the prosecution in the Shah Alam High Court this morning. The prosecution team requested more time for them prepare its case. I wonder what they can do within these two weeks that they couldn't do before this.

(BERNAMA) As expected the Shah Alam High Court here Monday was a hive of activity with large crowd descending on it to witness what has been billed as the trial of the year -- the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial.

Apart from the families of the accused, the court was also flooded by local and foreign journalists, members of the legal profession and ordinary members of the public who wanted to witness first hand the proceedings before Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yassin.

As early as 6 am, the fourth floor of the court building where the case was to be heard at the Criminal High Court Three was jam packed with people and when the doors to it opened at 7.30am there was a mad scramble for seats in the gallery, which can only accommodate 50 persons.

However as reported by MalaysiaKini, the delay is unfair to Altantuya family.
Consul General of Mongolia to Malaysia Syed Abdul Rahman Alhabshi today said that the last-minute adjournment of the Altantuya murder trial to June 18 was unfair to her family.

“They are sponsored to be here for only eight days, and the postponement makes it unclear if they will be back to take the witness stand,” he told reporters in Shah Alam High Court today.

Altantuya’s father and her two cousins are in Malaysia as prosecution witnesses.

Lawyer Karpal Singh, who holds a watching brief for Altantuya’s family, also felt that it was inappropriate for the trial to be postponed.

“No reasons have been given why there has been a change of prosecutor... That’s why I asked for a reason but no reasons were given,” he said.

In the meantime, Altantuya family has filed an RM100mil civil suit against the Government of Malaysia as well as the three defendants in her murder trial which began Monday.

The three include policemen Cif Inspektor Azilah Hadri, 31, and Koperal Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, who are charged with committing the murder in Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20 last year.

The third is political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 47, who is accused of abetting the two Unit Tindakan Khas (special action force) personnel, allegedly committed his offence at the Bangunan Getah Asli in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, between 9.54am and 11.05am on Oct 18 last year.

And there is more to the news. Zulkifli Noordin, one of the defence lawyer for Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri quit cited interference in murder case.

(BERNAMA) Zulkifli told reporters he believes fully in his client's innocence but "certain facts have come to my attention during my preparation of the trial" that would compromise his ability to act further.

"There were serious attempts by third parties to interfere with the defence that I proposed," he said, declining to elaborate.

Lawyer charges interference in murder case

Interesting case indeed. Eager to see how the case will be unfold.

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