Accused Sirul Gives Contradicting Testimony in Altantuya Trial

6 July 2007
Shah Alam

ACP Mastor Mohd Ariff testified in the High Court trial of the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu that he had asked Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar on his involvement in the murder. Mastor said Sirul voluntarily confessed to him on their flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur on 6 November 2006. The deputy commander of the Special Action Squad had went to Pakistan, on the instruction from the then Federal CID deputy director II (Administration) Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan, to fetch Sirul back for investigations on the murder.

Mastor told the court that Syed Ismail said Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri had told the deputy director that Sirul had murdered Altantuya. Mastor did not record Sirul’s confession, but he had passed it to Syed Ismail over the phone when they reached the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

At the airport, ten more officers were waiting for them. Sirul was then taken to the Serious Crimes Division at the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters, but he was not handcuffed.

Mastor however admitted that he had lied to Sirul into thinking that he was taken back from Pakistan as his ex-wife had lodged a police report against him. Mastor knew that what Sirul had said to him could be used as evidence against him in court but did not caution Sirul before he confessed as he was not the investigating officer.

The contents of the confession has not been revealed in court yesterday as the counsels for Sirul and Hadri have challenged its admissibility into court as evidence, stating that it is hearsay and can incriminate their clients. Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin ordered a trial-within-a-trial to determine its admissibility, where Mastor repeated most of his earlier testimony.

As Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar took the stand for the trial-within-a-trial, he denied that he had made any confession to Mastor, or even spoke at all to him about the murder.

Between examinations by counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin and deputy public prosecutor Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah, Sirul switched his testimony from having not made any confession to admitting to his involvement in the murder to Mastor, whom Sirul agreed had repeatedly asked him to reveal everything during their flight to Kuala Lumpur.

When Sirul was resting in one of his colleague’s hotel rooms, he said Mastor had shown up with two officers, ordering him to leave his suitcase and return with them to Malaysia. He told the court that he did not believe that Mastor had flew to Pakistan to bring him back because of his ex-wife because he had divorced with her amicably.

New Straits Times – Altantuya murder trial: Witness: Accused showed fear when confronted
<URL:http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Friday/Frontpage/20070706075007/Article/index_html>

New Straits Times – Altantuya murder trial: Second accused denies admitting to murder
<URL:http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Friday/Frontpage/20070706074408/Article/index_html>

New Straits Times – Altantuya murder trial: ‘Sirul confessed without coercion’
<URL:http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Friday/Frontpage/20070706074839/Article/index_html>

The Star Online – ACP: Sirul confessed to me during flight
<URL:http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/6/nation/18229680&sec=nation>

The Star Online – Accused contradicts himself
<URL:http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/6/nation/18232042&sec=nation>

MCW – Chief Security Guard and Deputy Commander Testify in Atlantuya Trial
<URL:http://malaysiacrimewatch.lokety.com/chief-security-guard-and-deputy/>

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