Jul 4, 2007

Azilah : Razak Baginda's wife given special treatment

Updates on Altantuya murder case:

  • Azilah Upset Over Photographers' Action

  • Malaysiakini : Records deleted: Immigration must explain

  • Malaysiakini : Secretary: I only heard it from my boss

  • SHAH ALAM, July 4 (Bernama) -- The first accused in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri is upset that some media photographers Tuesday had tried to pull away his jacket which he used to cover his face when he came to court.

    His feeling was conveyed by his counsel Hazman Ahmad in the High Court here today which is hearing the high-profile murder trial.

    Hazman said that yesterday, a group of photographers had encroached the police boundary and acted aggressively as Azilah, 30, Lance Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 35, and political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 46, the other accused, were taken from the court to the lock-up.

    He said Azilah was also unhappy with the special treatment given to Abdul Razak's wife, Mazlinda Makhzan who was allowed to accompany her husband to the lock-up, resulting in him and Sirul Azhar to be handcuffed separately at the back, as instructed by Bukit Aman.

    Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin then asked whether the relatives of the first and second accused were given the same privilege.

    Hazman: No. Azilah and Sirul Azhar were handcuffed at the back after the directive was given. Yesterday, there was a commotion on the way to the lock-up. The photographers encroached the police boundary and tried to pull my client's jacket away. He's asking for some space and not to be harassed by the media like that.

    Mohd Zaki: What do you want the court to do?

    Hazman: To advise them not to go beyond the boundary.

    Mohd Zaki: This happened outside the courtroom.

    Hazman: I have to inform the court. My client is under the court's supervision.

    Wong Kian Kheong, counsel for Abdul Razak, then said that his client was also handcuffed at the back like the other two accused.

    Hazman said he did want the incident to happen again as it could disrupt the court proceedings, adding that yesterday it took him 15 minutes to persuade Azilah to return to the lock-up.

    Wong said he was only informed about the purported special treatment for Abdul Razak's wife this morning.

    "It is not wrong for a wife to accompany her husband to the lock-up, but if instructed not to do so, we will abide. It's not an issue," he said.

    Hazman: The issue here is that my client had his face covered but it is not against the lock-up rules. A serious thing happened yesterday when a photographer tried to remove the jacket from him.

    To diffuse the situation, Mohd Zaki said the incident happened outside the courtroom over which he had no power to make a decision, but would ask the relevant parties to solve the problem.

    Meanwhile, outside the court, the photographers said the incident was not their doing and as there were so many of them, anything could happen during the commotion yesterday.

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