Wednesday, 20 June 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM
Altantuya murder case to reopen
PUTRAJAYA: Twelve years after Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu was brutally murdered, the sensational case looks set to be revived.
Altantuya’s family lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said Attorney General Tommy Thomas has given “positive” signs that the case would be probed again following the emergence of new leads.
“We are optimistic that the issue of motive, as to who ordered the murder of Altantuya, will proceed and be investigated further.
“Those responsible could be brought to justice,” Ramkarpal told the press at the Attorney General’s Chambers here.
Altantuya, 28, is believed to have been shot dead before her body was blown to bits with explosives at a secondary forest near the Subang Dam in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam, in 2006.
Ramkarpal earlier accompanied Altantuya’s father Dr Shaariibuu Setev to meet Thomas.
Dr Setev is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today.
On the new leads, Ramkarpal said he was “not at liberty” to reveal what they are.
“The leads are a mixed of old and new ones. There is enough basis for the case to be reopened,” said Ramkarpal.
According to him, the newly-appointed AG did not provide any timeframe on when the case would be reopened but gave an assurance that there would not be any delay.
“This case has gone on for 12 years, it is a long outstanding matter.
“It will not be delayed further, that was what was indicated to us,” he said.
Ramkarpal also said that it was “not necessary” for former Special Action Force personnel Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted for the murder, to return to Malaysia from Australia in order for the case to be reopened.
“There are enough leads locally for the case to be reopened,” said the lawyer.
Ramkarpal said setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) was also discussed with the AG, but added that an RCI would just be an alternative.
Speaking through a translator, Dr Setev said all he wanted was justice to prevail.
“I have suffered a lot for the past 12 years. My life has been ruined as if it’s just been destroyed by a tsunami.
“No one is above the law,” he said in Mongolian. “We are at the starting line again and we will see what happens.”
Dr Setev is now taking care of his daughter’s two sons – aged 14 and 20.
When asked about rumours that he was paid by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to close the case, he denied it.
“I have heard this kind of rumour but it’s not true,” he said.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said last month that the police had not found any grounds to reopen investigations.
Sirul, together with fellow colleague Azilah Hadri, were convicted of Altantuya’s murder and sentenced to death.
Sirul fled to Australia and is currently under detention by the country’s immigration department.
Australia does not allow a person on death row to return to their home country.
Abdul Razak Baginda, a close associate of Najib, was charged with abetment for the murder but was later acquitted.