I was paid RM1 million to keep silent, says Malaysian ex-cop convicted in murder of Mongolian model, Latest World News - The New Paper

I was paid RM1 million to keep silent, says Malaysian ex-cop convicted in murder of Mongolian model

PETALING JAYA – Former policeman Sirul Azhar Umar says he received RM1 million (S$286,500) from unnamed sources for his silence on the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder during his detention in Australia.

He said a prominent politically linked lawyer and a top Cabinet leader were involved in the payment.

In an interview with Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme aired on Nov 24 morning, the former policeman said he was made a scapegoat and pawn in a political game.

He further claimed he was not responsible for Mongolian model Altantuya’s murder despite being convicted of the crime.

“For many years, people in my country have been waiting to know who gave the order to kill Altantuya, but I cannot reveal that,” he said.

He claimed, however, the order to kill Ms Altantuya was made by a top politician.

“I feel danger to return (to Malaysia) as I feel it’s unsafe and want to build a life with my child here in Australia.

“I love Australia and urge the community here to give me a second chance and accept us,” he added.

Sirul also named a well-connected person over links to Ms Altantuya, and apologised to her family and asked for their forgiveness.

Ms Altantuya was abducted and murdered in Shah Alam in October 2006, and her remains blown up with military-grade explosives.

Sirul and Azilah Hadri, two of former prime minister Najib Razak’s bodyguards, were convicted of the murder in 2009.

The Court of Appeal overturned the conviction in 2013 and ordered their release.

During the prosecution’s appeal, Sirul fled to Australia. The Federal Court upheld the conviction and reinstated the death penalty.

Former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who was charged together with Sirul and Azilah, was freed on Oct 31, 2008, after the court found no concrete evidence against him.

Sirul was arrested and detained by Australian immigration authorities in January 2015 but was not deported owing to the country’s policy of not deporting people facing the death penalty.

On Nov 8, the Australian High Court ruled that indefinite immigration detention was unlawful, although the government could impose appropriate visa conditions to protect the local community.

On Dec 16, 2022, High Court Judge Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera allowed the suit by Ms Altantuya’s family and ordered former policemen Azilah, Sirul, Abdul Razak, and the Malaysian government to jointly pay RM5 million in general, aggravated and exemplary damages to the family. - THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

malaysiaMURDER/MANSLAUGHTERAustraliaNajib Razak