Altantuya murder: Najib's intervention bid to be heard on Dec 8, together with Azilah's application to set aside his conviction

PUTRAJAYA (Oct 31): Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's (pictured) application to intervene in the review application of the conviction and death sentence of former chief inspector Azilah Hadri, for the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu 14 years ago, will be heard together with the review application on Dec 8.

Najib's application to intervene in Azilah's bid to set aside the conviction and death sentence will be heard first, according to Najib's lawyer Sarah Abishegam when contacted by A Federal Court registrar informed the related parties via email yesterday.

Initially, Najib's application was scheduled to be heard on Oct 21, but this was deferred following the implementation of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor.

On July 17, Azilah's lawyer Athari Bahardin told that Federal Court deputy registrar Zarifah Zainal Abidin had, during case management that day, fixed Dec 8 to hear his client's review application — originally scheduled for April — following the implementation of Malaysia's MCO.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Azilah plans to oppose Najib's bid to intervene in his review application, while the prosecution has indicated that it would oppose Azilah's bid to set aside his conviction.

Altantuya was shot dead and her body blown up with military-grade plastic explosives at a forest in Puncak Alam, Selangor between 10pm on Oct 18 and 1am on Oct 19, 2006. Azilah, together with ex-police corporal Sirul Azhar Umar and political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, was initially charged with Altantuya's murder.

However, Abdul Razak was acquitted by the High Court without his defence being called, while Azilah and Sirul Azhar were found guilty and sentenced to death.

Azilah and Sirul Azhar subsequently appealed against their convictions and the appellate court unanimously acquitted the duo. However, following the prosecution's appeal to the Federal Court, the apex court on January 2015 upheld the High Court's guilty verdict for the two.

But Sirul Azhar left for Australia before the January 2015 judgement was delivered, where he reportedly still remains in.

On Dec 5, 2019, it was reported that Azilah, who is now on death row at the Kajang Prison in Selangor, filed an application to review the conviction and death sentence under Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995, with an order for a retrial.

The development came after Azilah affirmed a statutory declaration in support of the revision, whereby he claimed that the order to kill Altantuya came from Najib.

Subsequently, Najib, on Dec 17, 2019 instructed his lawyers to intervene in Azilah's bid to set aside the conviction and death sentence.

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