High Court fixes July 22 for decision in Altantuya's family discovery application

PUTRAJAYA (June 22): The Shah Alam High Court will deliver its decision on July 22 regarding a discovery application from the family of slain Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu to obtain a copy of the witness statements of the accused as well as the other witnesses who had testified in the trial.

The family's lawyers Sangeet Kaur Deo and Ramkarpal Singh said this after meeting with Court of Appeal judge Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, who will preside over the trial despite his elevation to the appellate court.

Sangeet said that Justice Vazeer has also fixed Aug 10 to continue the hearing of the civil case.

She said having the copies of the witness statements would help hasten the trial.

"The judge also decided to hear the case in Shah Alam and not in Putrajaya," she added.

Previously, it was reported that the High Court refused to allow the notes of proceedings from the criminal trial to be adopted in the civil trial.

Altantuya's family, comprising her father Shaariibuu Setev and his grandchildren, named Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar along with political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who was facing abetment charges to the murder, as defendants in the suit.

The family is claiming RM100 million in damages, including dependency claims.

They filed the suit in 2007, almost a year after the Mongolian was murdered atop a hill in Puncak Alam between 10pm and 1am in October 200.

Abdul Razak was acquitted without his defence called, while the two policemen were found guilty by the Shah Alam High Court with the crime and sentenced to death.

An appeal by Azilah and Sirul were allowed by the Court of Appeal, but the decision was reversed before a five-member bench at the Federal Court.

However, Sirul went missing before the apex court judgment, and fled to Australia where he is currently detained at an immigration camp in Wollongong, near Sydney.

The civil court hearing began last year, and so far 12 witnesses have already testified.

Justice Vazeer was elevated to the Court Of Appeal last August.

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