Corporal Azhar’s Confession Rejected as Evidence

11 July 2007
Shah Alam

The High Court has rejected the admission of the confession made by Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar to ACP Mastor Mohd Ariff during the flight from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur on 6 November last year.

Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin ruled yesterday that Azhar was coerced into making the confession. He said Mastor spoke to Azhar in a commanding voice and Mastor had admitted that he expected an answer and would ask Azhar again if he did not respond.

Counsel Wong Kian Kheong, who is appearing for Abdul Razak Baginda, said that Mastor should have cautioned Azhar before he responded, in compliance with the provision in the Criminal Procedure Code, as there was no indication of arrest made on Azhar.

After the verbal judgement given by Mohd Zaki that the confession shall not be admitted as evidence and shall not be described in court, normal proceedings continued in the trial with Mastor resuming his testimony.

Mastor said that on 19 and 20 October 2006, Azhar was not assigned to field work and thus did not carry his firearm. However, he could have obtained his firearm if he was assigned to assist a colleague out in the field.

Special Action Squad (UTK) members used Glock pistols, the Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns that used 9mm bullets, but Mastor said Azhar and Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, the first accused of murder, had not done any advanced explosive training. He added that UTK members could not be ordered by anyone from the public to do anything against the law and that he had never received complaints about Azilah.

When he was cross-examined by deputy public prosecutor Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah, Mastor said “from what I understood, Razak Baginda should not have been able to order Chief Inspector Azilah to do anything that was against the law”.

The prosecution team then called for a set of keys to be shown to the court as requested by lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin. Mastor was asked by the prosecution if a set of keys, a leather jacket and a cell phone where handed over to him by Azhar.

Mastor replied that he was given a set of keys, but it had more than three keys and looked older and more rusty than the ones presented by the prosecution. He agreed with counsel Kamarul Hisham, who is appearing for Azhar, that the set of keys tendered was not the same set.

New Straits Times – Case blown wide open: Court rejects Sirul’s confession
<URL:http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/Frontpage/20070711073628/Article/index_html>

New Straits Times – Altantuya murder trial: Accused ‘did not have gun’ on day of murder
<URL:http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/Frontpage/20070711073137/Article/index_html>

New Straits Times – Altantuya murder trial: Judge cites reasons for ruling it inadmissible
<URL:http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/Frontpage/20070711073255/Article/index_html>

The Star Online – Deputy commander: Weapons not exclusive to UTK
<URL:http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/11/nation/18270838&sec=nation>

The Star Online – Court rejects confession
<URL:http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/11/nation/18270279&sec=nation>

The Star Online – ‘Missing’ keys hold up hearing for a few minutes
<URL:http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/11/nation/18269850&sec=nation>

MCW – Trial-within-a-trial for Corporal Azhar’s Confession Admissibility
<URL:http://malaysiacrimewatch.lokety.com/trial-within-trial-for-corporal-azhars/>

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