Yes, before Malaysians have a chance to hear more about the case, it has been postponed to another two weeks.
What an anti-climax! And it’s so unfair to Shariibuu’s family who flew in all the way from Mongolia. First they lost lost their child to Malaysian murderer and killers. And now they were treated with postponement without any justification! Why the last minute change of prosecution team? What’s wrong with the original team?
Who were ‘uneasy’ or ‘uncomfortable’ with the original team?
Do not forget that the courts have earlier changed the judge and replaced with relatively junior one without any justification!
|Lawyer alleges interference in murder case|
|The lawyer for a senior policeman on trial for murdering a Mongolian woman withdrew on Monday and alleged interference in the case.Zulkifli Noordin said he could no longer act in defence of Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri.Zulkifli told reporters he believes fully in his client’s innocence but “certain facts have come to my attention during my preparation of the trial” that would compromise his ability to act further.”There were serious attempts by third parties to interfere with the defence that I proposed,” he said, declining to elaborate.Azilah and another police officer, Sirul Azhar Umar, 35, are charged with the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28.
Altantuya was the lover of Abdul Razak Baginda, a political analyst with close ties to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who has vehemently denied any involvement in the case.
All three accused face the death penalty if convicted.
The trial began today but was immediately postponed for two weeks until June 18 after prosecutors said they had only been assigned to the case on Sunday.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has pledged there will be no cover-up.
Abdul Razak, a British-educated political and defence analyst who heads the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre, a think tank, was introduced to Altantuya in Hong Kong at the end of 2004, he said in an affidavit and statements to police.
She was a trained teacher and a translator who spoke English, Russian and Chinese, her father has said.
The couple conducted a jet-setting romance, meeting in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and France. Abdul Razak said they broke up around August 2005.
She was killed last October and her body blown up in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam district southwest of Kuala Lumpur.
Abdul Razak, wearing a blue business-style shirt and dark pants, shed tears along with his mother as they hugged after he entered the courtroom.
He also embraced his teenage daughter before proceedings began, watched also by his parents and a brother.
“Pray for his innocence,” Abdul Razak’s wife, Mazlinda Makhzan, told AFP after her husband arrived in a white van chased by a pack of about 20 news photographers.
He was expressionless and did not answer questions as he was led into the court building.
Integrity under scrutiny
Altantuya’s father Shaariibuu Setev, 55, also declined comment when he arrived.
As court proceedings began, Najib, the deputy prime minister, opened a global tourism conference in Kuala Lumpur. He declined to comment on the trial.
Ramon Navaratnam, head of Transparency International Malaysia, a branch of the anti-corruption watchdog, said the world would be watching the trial.
“No one can afford to see the case being mishandled or interfered with,” he said, “because the whole integrity of the judicial system is under scrutiny.”