|Altantuya demanded US$500,000|
|A Mongolian woman demanded half a million dollars from her ex-lover two days before she was murdered, a court was told today.Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28, made the demand after causing a commotion outside the home of Abdul Razak Baginda, 47, who is charged with abetting her murder, a private investigator told the trial of Abdul Razak and two police officers.Prosecutors say that Abdul Razak planned Altantuya’s murder and ordered the two police officers – members of a special unit charged with protecting the country’s leaders – to carry it out.The woman was killed by “probable blast-related” injuries in Shah Alam district southwest of the capital Kuala Lumpur, prosecutors say.Abdul Razak, a political analyst, has vehemently denied any involvement.
All three defendants face the death penalty if convicted.
Causing a commotion
Private investigator P Balasubramaniam, the first prosecution witness called to testify, told the court this morning that Abdul Razak had hired him for RM4,000 to keep Altantuya away from him.
On the opening day of the trial on Monday, prosecutors alleged that Abdul Razak and Altantuya met in 2004 and had a relationship, during which he gave her money.
After they broke up in 2005, he allegedly continued to give her money whenever she demanded. The payments stopped last year, which angered her and prompted her to travel to Malaysia in October, the prosecution said.
Balasubramaniam testified that he began working for Abdul Razak on Oct 13 or 14 last year.
About two days into the job, he saw Altantuya and two other women briefly stop outside Abdul Razak’s home in a taxi, he said.
On Oct 17, he testified, he went to Abdul Razak’s home after he called and said the woman – whom he knew by the name “Aminah” – was outside.
“Aminah was causing a commotion and shouting and she said, ‘Razak, bastard, you come out! I want to speak to you,” the investigator said. Abdul Razak did not emerge from the home.
The investigator said Altantuya had her own private eye, Ang Chong Beng, who was sitting in a car observing the incident.
He said he called police, and a patrol car took him and Altantuya to a police station. She was not arrested, but wanted to file a police report, he said.
“Ang advised her against it. He told her he would talk to me about whatever she wanted from Razak,” Balasubramaniam said.
Money and tickets
At the police station she also told Balasubramaniam she wanted a large amount of money and air tickets to Mongolia, he said.
“Aminah had demanded 500,000 US dollars and three air tickets to Mongolia,” he said.
The investigator did not state why she made the demand but earlier testified Abdul Razak hired him “because the woman has been harassing him for money.”
Balasubramaniam said he called Abdul Razak’s lawyer that night and asked them to file a police report but they declined.
Balasubramaniam told Abdul Razak of her demands the next morning.
“He told me he would discuss with senior police officials that he knew before deciding on the next move,” the investigator testified.
Prosecutors allege that the next day, when Altantuya returned to Abdul Razak’s house, he called police. The two accused officers allegedly took her away, never to be seen alive again.