Sue Azilah for defamation, lawyer tells Najib
V Anbalagan -December 9, 2020 1:02 PM
PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak should now file a defamation suit against Azilah Hadri who had claimed that the former prime minister ordered the murder of Mongolian citizen Altantuya Shaariibuu, a civil lawyer said.
Americk Sidhu said the suit would help clear Najib’s name as the former policeman’s statutory declaration (SD) had tainted him.
“Najib should file the suit not with the intention of obtaining damages but to redeem his reputation in the eyes of the public,” he told FMT.
Americk said the former prime minister had in the past been constrained from doing anything about Azilah’s claim as the Altantuya and Azilah matters were still pending before the courts. Yesterday, Azilah exhausted all his legal avenues when the Federal Court dismissed his application for a review of his murder conviction and death sentence.
Last December, Najib took a “sumpah laknat” at Masjid Jamek in Kampung Baru to deny allegations made by Azilah in the SD that was attached in the appeal for review.
After Friday prayers, Najib told a congregation of about 500 that “I have never directed anyone to kill a Mongolian citizen named Altantuya Shaariibuu and I have never met nor do I know the deceased”.
He had also made a similar oath 11 years ago at a mosque in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, denying claims that he had known Altantuya.
In his SD, Azilah claimed, among others, that Altantuya’s former lover, Abdul Razak Baginda, and senior police officer Musa Safri were aware of the “instructions” from Najib.
Azilah, in his attached sworn statement, said it was Najib who had directed the “shoot to kill” order on Altantuya.
Azilah and his partner, Sirul Azhar Umar, were sentenced to death nine years after Altantuya was killed in a forest near Shah Alam and her body blown up with explosives in 2006. Razak was acquitted of abetment in the murder case.
Meanwhile, lawyer Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar Al Mahdzar said police should investigate the contents of the SD and take appropriate action against Najib or Azilah.
“The court ruling did not touch on the veracity of the SD. The court merely said Azilah suppressed the evidence and as such, it was not a fit and proper case for review,” he said.
Syed Iskandar said Azilah knew well he would be under the threat of criminal prosecution if the SD was baseless and unjustified.
“He could be charged under the SD Act or the Penal Code for affirming under oath something which is untrue ,” the lawyer said. Similarly, he said, Najib could also be charged if Azilah’s allegations were found to be true.