Thomas: Sirul’s evidence corroborated Azilah’s ‘shoot to kill’ Altantuya claim
Published 1 Feb 2021, 5:07 pm
Modified 1 Feb 2021, 7:27 pm
Sirul Azhar Umar provided evidence which corroborated the claims of his co-accused Azilah Hadri, who implicated former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.
According to former attorney-general Tommy Thomas, this was based on an interview by a senior deputy public prosecutor whom he instructed to meet Sirul at the Villawood immigration detention centre in Australia.
“I asked a senior DPP to fly to Sydney to seek permission from the authorities there to interview Sirul on the credibility of Azilah’s confession.
“My senior DPP spent many days interviewing Sirul in Villawood. Sirul’s evidence corroborated Azilah’s.
“Their joint version was credible, particularly taking into consideration that they were incarcerated in different detention centres in two countries with no means of contacting each other.
“I was satisfied they were truthful,” he added in his memoir My Story: Justice in the Wilderness.
Thomas said he was told that Sirul had previously informed the Australian authorities that he was ordered to kill a foreign spy, which is similar to what Azilah claimed.
In his memoir, Thomas alluded to Azilah’s first-time admission – from death row in Kajang prison – that he together with Sirul murdered Altantuya following an explicit “shoot to kill” order.
Azilah, in December 2019, claimed that the order came from Najib and Najib’s close associate, Abdul Razak Baginda.
These details were contained in Azilah’s application for the Federal Court to review his conviction and death sentence, together with Sirul’s.
“Azilah supported his review application with the same statutory declaration (SD) I had read previously.
“It implicated not only Najib as the person who gave Azilah the order to kill, but also his aide de camp Musa Safri, for assisting or abetting Najib,” Thomas said in reference to the SD.
In the SD dated Oct 17, 2019, Azilah claimed that Najib ordered him to “arrest and destroy” Altantuya, whom the then deputy prime minister allegedly described as a “foreign spy” and a “threat to national security”.
Najib has denied the allegation.