(Malaysiakini) A prospect of another voir dire (trial-within-a-trial) in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial is looming following an application by a defence counsel this morning in the Shah Alam High Court today.
Lawyer Hazman Ahmad, acting for first accused chief inspector Azilah Hadri, requested the voir dire to determine the admissibility of evidence tendered by a witness. Hazman said the evidence was unfair on Azilah.
The prosecution's 19th witness, chief inspector Koh Fei Cheow (photo), 38, started by telling the court how first accused Azilah, 31, had led his team of four officers and him to Puncak Alam on Nov 6 last year.
Mongolian national Altantuya is believed to have been shot before her body was blown to pieces with explosives at a secondary forest in Puncak Alam, near Shah Alam in October last year.
During examination by deputy public prosecutor Tun Majid Tun Hamzah, Koh said ASP Tonny Lunggan had instructed him to bring the first accused and find the crime scene at 5:20pm on that date (Nov 6).
According Koh, Azilah had directed the team from the Kuala Lumpur Contingent headquarters to the crime scene. They arrived at Puncak Alam at 6.50pm in a blue Pajero owned by the Royal Malaysian Police.
“The entire journey was directed by the first accused. We took several wrong turns along the way. I did not know any of the roads there. I’m not sure if my men knew the area either,” he said.
Koh, who is attached to the Serious Crime Unit (D9), said Azilah then told them to stop at a jungle and wanted to look around.
“We stopped the car on the right side of the clearing. My team brought Azilah out of the car to observe the surroundings.
“He then led me into the jungle, not far from the clearing. I asked him if this was where the murder happened and he said yes,” he said.
as reported as BERNAMA
SHAH ALAM, July 19 (Bernama) -- Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri took about one-and-a-half hours to direct police to a spot in Puncak Alam where Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu was said to have been killed.
Chief Inspector Koh Fei Cheow, 38, who is attached to the Major Crimes Investigation Division of the Kuala Lumpur Contingent Police Headquarters (IPK) told the High Court Thursday that throughout the journey, they had stopped several times because they had taken the wrong road.
Koh said he and three other police personnel together with Azilah had left the Kuala Lumpur IPK in a four-wheel-drive at 5.20pm on Nov 6, last year and reached an open space in the jungle at 6.50pm.
He said they had gone to look for the murder site after Azilah had given information to him during a questioning session.
Koh said they had gone towards the Jalan Duta Toll Plaza from the Kuala Lumpur IPK and came out at the Kota Damansara Toll Plaza.
He said that as they were not familiar with the route, his team had taken the Jalan Persiaran Suria, Jalan Kampung Subang, Bukit Jelutong and Jalan Puncak Perdana before reaching the open space.
Counsel Hazman Ahmad, representing Azilah, will submit this afternoon to support his applicaton for a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of Azilah's confession on the murder site to the police.
Azilah, 31, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, both from the Police Special Action Unit (UTK), are charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, at Lots 12843 and 16735, Mukim Bukit Raja, between 10pm on Oct 19 last year and 1am the following day. Political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 47, is accused of abetting them.
All the three accused face the death sentence upon conviction.
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