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Altantuya accused Azilah: ‘I want to be free’

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on April 8, 2009

The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 – One of the two accused in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri said in an interview that he wanted to be freed from the charge of murdering the Mongolian woman.

The Shah Alam High Court will deliver its verdict tomorrow and could hand out the death sentence on him.

Azilah, who is accused of murdering Altantuya Shaariibuu three years ago, made the statement to Bernama on the last day of his trial at the court in February.

Azilah’s words brought a smile on his fiancée Nur Azila Baharuddin. She had always been at his side throughout the trial to provide support.

And according to Nur Azila, if Azilah’s hopes come true, they will set their wedding on the possible earliest date.

Nur Azila said that that she is anxious about the court’s verdict tomorrow.

Meanwhile Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, the second defendant in the case, who prefers to keep to himself compared with Azilah, expressed the same feelings when asked the same question.

Corporal Sirul, smiled with a big grin and replied :”God willing there is some hope.”

Both members of the Special Action Force (UTK) completed their own defence  without any witness.

Azilah, 33, who is represented by lawyers, Datuk Hazman Ahmad and J. Kuldeep Kumar presented his verbal testimony from the dock while Sirul Azhar, 37, who is represented by Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, Hasnal Redzua Marican and Ahmad Zaidi Zainal chose to read out the written testimony from the dock.

In the high profile trial that hogged the local and international media, the duo were charged with murdering the 28 year-old Altantuya, on  Oct 20, 2006.

Initially they were tried together with the Executive Director of Malaysian Strategic Research Centre (MSRC), Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 48, who was charged with conspiring in the murder of Altantuya.

However on Oct 31, 2008, the political analyst walked out as a free man after the court found that the prosecution had failed to furnish proof on an important element on the conspiracy charge.

With Abdul Razak no more in the picture, the case lost its `glamour’ and the huge crowds who initially followed the case closely, dwindled.

Many Malaysians are not aware that the fate of the remaining two defendants will be decided by the court tomorrow.

Abdul Razak since has left to United Kingdom and is said to be taking up PhD at Oxford University.
The case has set many records including being the longest trial  (159 days) with 84 witnesses being called for the prosecution and two for the defence.

According to records, Azilah has been incarcerated at the Sungai Buloh Prison for 891 days while Sirul Azhar 895 days. – Bernama

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