The high-profile murder case of Mongolian model and mother of two, Altantuya Shaariibuu has shook the country for more than a decade.
After numerous trials, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar of the Malaysian Police Special Action Force or counter-terrorism unit (Unit Tindakan Khas), were found guilty and sentenced to death by the Federal Court in 2015, nearly 10 years after the murder took place. However, Sirul fled to Australia and was apprehended at immigration.
Now, Australia has finally granted permission to Malaysia to extradite the ex-cop back home. A report by The Guardian quoted: “It is believed Sirul will leave Australia within a month.” Australia did not agree to Malaysia’s calls for extradition in the past due to the former’s policy of not extraditing individuals to countries where the death penalty exists.
When interviewed recently by the British news site, Sirul who’s currently kept in a detention centre said that he was “not willing to return to Malaysia even if his death sentence is commuted to life in prison.” He also expressed fear that he would be killed while in prison in Australia.
He also mentioned that his superior Musa Safri should have been made to testify during the murder trial. Sirul’s claims were immediately rubbished by Najib and then-Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.
On 3 February 2009, Sirul Azhar pleaded with the court to not pass the death sentence on him, claiming he was like “a black sheep that has to be sacrificed” to protect unnamed people. “I have no reason to cause hurt, what’s more to take the life of the victim in such a cruel manner… I appeal to the court, which has the powers to determine if I live or die, not to sentence me so as to fulfil others’ plans for me,” he pleaded in the High Court.
Altantuya’s remains were discovered in a deserted area in Shah Alam. It has not been determined if the victim was murdered by C4 explosives or was somehow killed first before her remains was destroyed with C4.